By PETER ESILA
AIR NUIGINI wants to focus on an ‘east-west’ strategy and ‘hubbing’ through Jackson International Airport, says managing-director Alan Milne.
He said Papua New Guinea was starting to see increased air traffic from Asia.
Milne said this was one way of promoting tourism 15 per cent growth in traffic in the last six months.
“We have got a broad strategy, and that is to look at a bigger picture,” he said.
“That is a three to five-year plan, very difficult for an airline because of the vagary in the industry, but we need to have something in place where we can actually try to deliver to.”
Milne said after the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industrys’ business breakfast yesterday that the hubbing strategy was one that was working for Air Niugini.
“It has matured on its own.
“We are starting to see a great amount of traffic coming from Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, transiting Port Moresby and then heading off to the Pacific Islands.
“That is a really good growth, but we have got to start building on that, making sure that we can keep delivering it.
“That is great for Air Niugini, not so great for Port Moresby, because we need to start thinking about how can we now convince those customers: why not you spend a night or two in Port Moresby, and start looking at PNG as well?
“That will be the next step. How do we start promoting PNG as a tourist destination for people to actually stop and have a look, rather than heading straight through?
“From an Air Niugini perspective, the more traffic we can build on those routes, the better it is for us.”
Milne said the Asian traffic into Jackson and hubbing on into the South Pacific was “far easier, far shorter and far cheaper than doing that through Australia.”
By PETER ESILA