RACHEL RILEY, Townsville Bulletin
AIR Niugini will open up a one stop connection from Townsville to Hong Kong through a retimed service to Port Moresby effective from May 29.
Air Niugini’s service will now operate earlier, departing Townsville on Mondays at 12.10pm and arriving in Port Moresby at 2pm, allowing passengers to catch a connecting flight to Hong Kong at 3pm.
Inbound flights arrive in Townsville on Fridays.
The airline has launched a sale fare to promote the service, with return fares from $829 in low season and $1,200 in high season.
Air Niugini Chief Executive Officer Simon Foo said the airline would continue to offer competitive fares and packages plus a superb in-flight service to residents of North Queensland for travel beyond Port Moresby.
“Air Niugini operates to 14 exciting international destinations in Asia, Australia and the Pacific from our hub in Port Moresby,” he said.
The retimed connection will enable North Queensland residents to travel to Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Bali and Japan.
The airline also operate to Solomon Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia and Vanuatu in the Pacific.
“We are looking at a direct service to Shanghai, China towards the end of this year, something the business community in North Queensland and tourists may be keen to take advantage of,” Mr Foo said.
Townsville Airport Chief Operating Officer Kevin Gill welcomed the retiming of the established Port Moresby service.
“The retiming of the Port Moresby route means Townsville will have a convenient, one stop service to Hong Kong, complementing Air Niugini’s established connections to Asia,” he said.
“It also expands our reach in marketing Townsville to Asia.
“As the gateway to north Queensland, we are always looking at ways to expand our footprint
internationally, so we are very pleased to be able to do so through the rescheduling of this service.”
The Townsville — Port Moresby service was established in March this year and represents the addition of 17,000 seats between the two destinations each year.