The much talked about Townsville to Port Moresby flight is about to become a reality with the first POM/TOW flight scheduled for 30 March 2017.
Air Niugini will be using its Fokker 70 aircraft and will fly two times per week commencing Friday 31 March 2017.
At present, the proposed flight days and times are as follows:
Ex POM 9.55am TSV 11.45am
Ex TSV 12.30pm POM 2.20pm
It will be a full service carrier which will include in-flight entertainment, refreshments and 30kg checked luggage.
The number of seats available per flight is 80 and there is expected to be a rush to book seats. Given the rush, one can expect prices to be on the upper end but a search of the Air Niugini booking schedule shows prices starting at PGK1,271.40 from POM / TSV and AUD508.60 from TSV/POM.
The flights will be welcomed by both Townsville residents and Papua New Guineans.
There is a sizeable PNG population in Townsville of which most have had to travel to either Brisbane or Cairns to take the flight to Port Moresby. Those long trips will now be a thing of the past.
The flights will make the PNG residents in Townsville more closer to home and at the same time open doors to other Asian destinations that Air Niugini flies to direct. Some of these destinations include Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Manila and Tokyo.
The Papua New Guinean travelling public, on the other hand, will welcome the news as it adds another destination to their list of places to go. And for rugby league lovers, in particular the North Queensland Cowboys fans, the flights will be a fantastic opportunity to watch the Cowboys in action at their home ground Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Interestingly, some years back probably around the 1980’s, Port Moresby established a sister city relationship with Townsville. The possibility of having these flights was mooted then to closer the economic ties of both cities but unfortunately nothing much came of it. With the proposed flights set to become a reality now, city authorities may possibly look at revisiting the relationship.
Meeting w Tville business leaders & representatives from PNG to discuss direct flights from Townsville to Port Moresby starting next month pic.twitter.com/Ctz37Vxmzu
— Coralee O’Rourke (@CoraleeORourke) February 7, 2017