THE people of East Sepik province were recipients of Air Niugini’s Fokker 100 service that was launched at Boram airport in Wewak, by East Sepik Governor Peter Wararu on Tuesday.
The launch of the new service marks the completion of the first phase of pavement strengthening work on the airport by local firm Dekenai Constructions.
Mr Wararu, who was on the maiden flight, disembarked from the aircraft at 5.20pm to a rousing welcome at the airport led by deputy provincial administrator Michael Sino and head of the Ministers Fraternal in East Sepik Rev Paul Huaembukie closely followed by colourful singsing groups and a huge crowd that swelled up outside the airport.
The crowd clapped, whistled and shouted in excitement as the plane arrived at its parking bay as two airport fire trucks sprayed the plane from the sides to welcome the long overdue service in Wewak.
Air Niugini general manager (marketing) Collin Little, who arrived with the aircraft thanked the Government and the people for the support, adding that Air Niugini was looking forward to providing the best service Sepik people deserved out of Wewak each day.
Mr Wararu thanked the national airline for bringing back to Wewak the pride of the Sepik people.
He said the Sepik people were known to travel a lot and this new service would be a joy those who wish to travel out of the province.
The new Fokker 100 service, with a sitting capacity of 109 passengers, would replace the shuttle flights out of the province to Madang.
The Boram runway had been under construction since the beginning of this year.
Mr Wararu said work on the airport lights and fencing would start soon at the cost of K6 million.
He urged his people to take ownership of the airport and the airline’s facility if they wished to enjoy the services of the larger aircraft.
Mr Wararu said people must respect and look after any development taking place otherwise, they did not deserve to get anything from the Government.