By MARK HAIHUIE
PASSENGER volume is a key consideration for Air Niugini when deciding whether to operate direct international flights into airports across PNG, says general manager-commercial Dominic Kaumu.
He was speaking at a workshop by the Tourism Promotion Authority and World Bank on the 2017 International Visitors Survey yesterday.
Kaumu said tourism stakeholders needed to collaborate more to allow for this to happen.
“Our concept at Air Niugini is to build volume,” he said.
“At times people come to us and say we would like to have direct (international) flights to Alotau, Rabaul and other centres.
“The fact of the matter for us as an airline is that the volume of passengers is not there to justify that.
“That’s why it is very important for Air Niugini to continue to build volume, but as it is right now, it is only viable through Port Moresby.
“We have tested direct flights from Australia to East New Britain for the past couple of years.
“That needs a lot of support as well, because for us to sustain those services it has to be commercially viable for the airline.
“There has to be a collective effort by everyone.
“We as an airline, for example, cannot plan for the future unless we know what the Government is doing according to it development plans.
“We cannot get new aircraft unless we know the domestic capabilities being built around the domestic network.”
Kaumu said he was pleased with the survey and Air Niugini would take on board issues contained in it relating to its operations.
“Tourism is important to us as well, and we will commit to working with stakeholders to develop the sector to a level where we want to see it at.”
By MARK HAIHUIE