LUC CITRINOT | Travel Daily News
The Indonesian airline is seeking to serve untapped markets in the Asia Pacific region and this will be the first direct air connection from Moresby to Jakarta.
Papua New Guinea’s national airline, Air Niugini, is also due to serve the same route connecting Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Port Moresby International Airport but no date has so far been set.Garuda will first offer two weekly flights on the Jakarta-Denpasar-Port Moresby route.
“Pacific nations such as Fiji have been hoping for a flight serving the region. There has been no direct air connectivity, so the flight to Port Moresby will serve as a bridge to the Pacific islands,” said Indonesian Transport Minister Mangindaan.
The new venture could also foster a new era in tourism with common products between Indonesia West Papua and PNG.
According to Indonesia Tourism and Creative Economy Minister, Mari Elka Pangestu, plans now exist to expand the boat race ‘Sail Raja Ampat 2014’ to PNG, although the Minister indicated there were still some security and trans-border issues to be solved between both countries.
Another boost for tourism will be to provide flights between Port Moresby and West Papua regional capital Jayapura.