The first direct flight between Port Moresby and Guangzhou of the People’s Republic of China is expected to take place in December this year. This announcement was made recently by the Minister for International Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Maru.
The discussion on opening of direct flights between Port Moresby and Guangzhou was held between Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape and the Governor for Guangdong Province of China, Wang Weizhong during his visit to Port Moresby in July this year. This was further discussed when Minister Maru met with Governor Weizhong in his recent visit to Guangzhou.
“On the eve of Prime Minister Marape’s state visit to the Republic of China to attend the Belt and Road Summit, we are glad to inform the country that the proposed direct flight between Port Moresby and Guangzhou looks positive and possible,” said Minister Maru.
A technical team from the China Southern Airlines visited Port Moresby last week and they met with the Department of Transport, Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), and National Airports Corporation (NAC).
“They are planning to have the first direct flight between Guangzhou and Port Moresby to take place in December this year. Prior to that, a technical team from China Southern Airlines will return to Port Moresby in two weeks’ time to meet with CASA to make sure all technical requirements are met before the flight resumes,” said Minister Maru.
Minister Maru said the opening of the direct flights between Port Moresby and Guangzhou will improve more business connectivity between PNG and Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, and China.
“It will also strengthen the sister-city relationship between Port Moresby and Guangzhou; strengthen our proposal to open a Trade Commission in Shenzhen; and it will now call on us to quickly open a Consulate in Guangzhou to facilitate visas for not only business travelers but also for tourists with tourism being a huge market in Papua New Guinea which is untapped. China has 100 million tourists that travel the world every year. This direct flight will give us the greatest opportunity to start tapping into this market. I will be working very closely with the Minister for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, and the Tourism Promotion Authority to look at how we can develop products and a plan to market Papua New Guinea as a tourism destination specifically for Chinese tourists. This is a very exciting development as we will tap into huge tourism market that Papua New Guinea has not tapped into all these years,” said Minister Maru.
Minister Maru thanked the Premier of Guangdong Province and China Southern Airlines for their commitment to starting the process to having direct flights between Port Moresby and Guangzhou.
“Prime Minister Marape, on his way back from Beijing will call in at Guangzhou to meet with Governor Weizhong and the China Southern Airlines to reaffirm our partnership,” said Minister Maru.