Qantas and Travel Air to resume service in PNG

PORT MORESBY — Qantas has put Papua New Guinea (PNG) back on its international route, with services between Brisbane and Port Moresby restarting on Friday after more than two years due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Three return flights will operate each week on a Boeing 737-800 on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays.

Demand on this route is expected to grow in the coming months, particularly from the corporate market, with flights between Brisbane and Port Moresby ramping up to five services per week from 20 June

The route is the latest international service to be added to Qantas’ network out of Brisbane and will support business and trade between Australia and PNG.

Travel Air to resume domestic flight services

Meanwhile, PNG’s domestic aircraft carrier, Travel Air – known for its budget low cost airfares – is set to return.

Eremas Wartoto, the owner of Travel Air, announced this saying he is looking at resuming service with three Boeing 737-300 series aircraft “to be brought in from Europe which will service major ports in the country.”

“It will accommodate up to 150 passengers and three tonnes of cargo,” he said.

“We will then bring in smaller aircraft such as Q-400 and Dash-8 to service other smaller destinations.

Reduced air travel costs

Domestic airfare rates in Papua New Guinea are one of the highest in the world, says Wartoto.

He said there were ways to reduce costs, and that one is to extend airport runways to accommodate bigger planes that can carry more passengers, so that the costs can be shared.

“Mangi Lo Ples is coming back because I cannot stand the costly airfare rates which are killing our citizens. Domestic airfare cost must be reasonable to allow people to travel. We are being robbed,” he said.

“Our proposed any sector airfare rate will be at K350-K400 (US$99- US$113) to anywhere in the country with cargo charged at K3 (US$0.85) per kilogram.