NATIONAL flag carrier Air Niugini now has an opportunity to provide a second direct flight service to Narita, Japan come March next year.
This comes after the Papua New Guinea and Japanese governments signed a memorandum of understand (MoU) last month to pave way for the new service.
Under the current international flight schedule, Air Niugini has a weekly flight to Narita on Saturdays and returns on Sundays.
However, Air Niugini sources said the flag carrier was not “at this stage” thinking of the second service opportunity.
The Department of Transport confirmed the deal and said it was Air Niugini’s discretion to decide whether to operate the second service or not.
Department sources said they would be working with their Japanese counterparts towards an air service agreement (ASA) following the MoU.
Recently, PNG and Fiji inked a deal in which Fiji’s Air Pacific and Air Niugini would have direct flights flying between Nadi and Port Moresby Jackson International Airport.
Prior to this, Air Niugini travelled to Nadi International Airport via Henderson International Airport in Honiara, under the PNG-Honiara MoU, which allowed Air Niugini to pick up some of Air Solomon’s passengers on its way to Nadi.
The Transport Department had pushed for “fleet freedom rights” for PNG’s airline which was now honoured in the Fiji/PNG MoU.
Under this deal, Air Niugini can have its own traffic where it would have the right to pick up its own passengers. Air Niugini has advertised that flights to Nadi are K1,293 one way.