Vila Times

Negotiations for direct flight between PNG and Kiribati underway

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The Kiribati Transport Ministerial is currently negotiating direct flights between Papua New Guinea and Kiribati.

Negotiations are currently underway at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby to have an agreement signed and put in place, PNG Loop reports.

Agendas discussed this morning 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.

The discussions are looking at possibilities of using Federated States of Micronesia as an intermediate under the agreement.

“Whatever it’s going to be, specific ones will be discussed between our two airlines,” says Department of Transport Secretary, Roy Mumu.

Agreement documents will be signed by both countries’ ministers of transport following the discussion and outcome of the talks this morning.

So far, PNG has 14 air service agreements with various APEC economies, including our neighbouring pacific island countries like Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and of course Australia and New Zealand.

The most recent agreement signed between FSM that is currently facilitating two flights a week was engaged by Air Niugini.

“Further discussions will lead to a formal air service agreement signing, also the first of many dialogues to come; hopefully leading to something concrete that will enable and improve air connectivity with our pacific island countries,” said Mumu.

All specifics of the negotiation will be finalised tonight depending on the outcome of today’s negotiations with the air service delegates from Kiribati.

Meanwhile, acting director of civil aviation, Aako Teikake, thanked the Government of PNG for accepting Kiribati in developing the air services agreement, which will be essential for the expansion of Air Kiribati’s connectivity through the regime.

“We are hoping to have a very favourable and fruitful outcome,” she said.

For Kiribati, the soon-to-be formalised agreement with PNG will be the island country’s 10th air service agreement among others that they have signed with other countries.