PORT MORESBY (THE NATIONAL) —Papua New Guinea Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Walter Schnaubelt says Air Niugini’s services connecting Palau with Brisbane via Port Moresby is a move in the right direction.

Schnaubelt told Parliament yesterday that the start of the air services would be beneficial for not only Palau but also for PNG in terms of promoting trade, commerce and tourism.

“In mid last year, the Australian government through its aid programme encompassing the Pacific Islands, embarked on a programme targeted at addressing development gaps within these geographical sites and flagged reliable air connectivity as a plight of the people of Palau which ultimately required priority towards addressing (it),” he said.

Schnaubelt said a procurement process was facilitated through the Australian aid programme calling for bids from airlines domiciled within the Pacific.

“The tender was seeking airlines with capacity and good safety record to provide the required air connectivity for the people of Palau,” he said

“Air Niugini, as PNG’s designated international airline, placed its bid and emerged as the winner.”

He said the routes should provide more air connectivity from Palau to Brisbane via Port Moresby and other destinations within the region.

“Specifically, the flight routes that Air Niugini was awarded the contract to service are Port Moresby-Koror (Palau)-Port Moresby-Brisbane-Port Moresby (return) and these routes should be subsidised by the relevant Australian government’s aid programme.”…PACNEWS

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