Talks between Papua New Guinea and the Kiribati Transport Ministerial will pave way for direct flights between Papua New Guinea and Kiribati.
Transport Secretary, Roy Mumu made these remarks during the first bilateral Air Service Agreement
Negotiation in Port Moresby last week.
He said the discussions were looking at possibilities of using the Federated States of Micronesia as an intermediate under the agreement.
He said the discussions included a respective provision of draft PNG-Kiribati Air Services Agreement
Text for mutual coherence and acceptance, and the identification of operating points for respective parties for mutual occurrence and acceptations.
“This meeting is the first of many meetings to come that will lead to a formal air service agreement signing,” Mumu said.
He said ASA would enhance connectivity between the two countries and the most recent agreement signed between FSM that was currently facilitating two flights a week was engaged by Air Niugini.
He said the agreement would see two flights per week from PNG to Kiribati.
“PNG currently has 14 bilateral air service agreements with other countries, such as the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand and now Kiribati,” he said. Mumu said before an airline could operate international services to another country, the government must first negotiate a treaty level agreement with the destination country’s government.
“These treaties are known as bilateral air services agreements. Each arrangement contains provisions on:
- Traffic rights – the routes airlines can fly, including cities that can be served within, between and beyond the bilateral partners.
- Capacity – the number of flights that can be operated or passengers that can be carried between the bilateral partners.
- Designation, Ownership and Control – the number of airlines the bilateral partners can nominate to operate services and the ownership criteria airlines must meet to be designated under the bilateral agreement. This clause sometimes includes foreign ownership restrictions.
- Tariff prices – Some agreements require airlines to submit ticket prices to aeronautical authorities for approval and;
- Many other clauses addressing competition policy, safety and security. Kiribati Acting director of civil aviation, Aako Teikake, said the ASA would create an expansion of air connectivity outside the region and thanked the PNG Government for being part of the ASA .
She said the air connectivity would certainly boost the country’s economy.