24 Aug 2016

Cairns businesses upset by Qantas dumping Moresby flights

6:52 pm on 24 August 2016

Businesses in Australia's north-eastern city of Cairns have lashed out at Qantas for abandoning direct Cairns-Papua New Guinea flights.

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Photo: RNZ

The airline announced recently that, due to high demand for flights to Bali, it would be reducing its domestic flights in regional areas.

The Cairns post reported this included shifting Cairns-Port Moresby flights to a Brisbane-Port Moresby leg from the end of October.

Air Niugini is now the only operator maintaining direct flights between Cairns and PNG.

The chief executive of Advance Cairns Kevin Byrne, said Qantas' removal of the route and its 12 weekly services would be a savage blow for the Far North.

Mr Byrne said the move would half the capacity on the route overnight, but that there might still be room to negotiate a compromise position.

PNG is a significant source of visitors and investment in Cairns and the local business community that airfares will steadily rise as competition will cease to exist.