A TOWNSVILLE missionary organisation has thrown its weight behind a push for direct flights between Townsville and Port Moresby, saying hundreds of their volunteers would use the service each year.
It comes as buzz builds around proposed Townsville to Papua New Guinea flights, with discussions continuing between the Townsville Airport and Air Niugini.
Volunteers for Youth With A Mission’s latest outreach trip to Papua New Guinea will depart Townsville today to help deliver vital medical services to villages.
They will fly first from Townsville to Cairns, then from Cairns to Port Moresby, before taking a third flight to the region where the organisation’s ship is based.
YWAM managing director Ken Mulligan said having a direct service would save time and money and allow them to consider further expansion. “We have literally hundreds of people that would utilise this service,” he said.
“It would cut down the time significantly.
“I know YWAM for one would support this strongly.
“The easier we can make it, the better for everyone.”
Mr Mulligan said he frequently travelled to Port Moresby via Cairns or Brisbane and ended up spending a lot of time in airports waiting for connecting flights.
“Instead of taking a few hours, it takes all day to get there,” he said.
“It would allow busy people such as officials to catch a flight straight down and then only have to be here for a day, rather than three or four.
“It’s closer than Brisbane.”
Mr Mulligan said apart from YWAM, there were many businesses in Townsville that had PNG connections.
“We already have one international service to Bali and I think this would be another successful one,” he said.
“It’s really a no brainer.”
Mr Mulligan said PNG and Australia had strong connections because of World War II and he hoped more Townsville residents could discover the positives of the neighbouring nation.
“The cultural diversity is right off the charts and the natural beauty is outstanding,” he said.