Air Niugini flies first service from Japan to FSM
10 September, 2018, 4:34 pm
PORT MORESBY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2018 (THE NATIONAL) – Air Niugini started its first direct flight from Narita in Japan to Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia at the weekend.
Sixty passengers, mostly Japanese tourists, boarded the first flight from Narita on Saturday night. They arrived in Chuuk early Sunday morning.
On arrival, another 60 passengers joined the flight to Port Moresby.
Most passengers continued to other Air Niugini destinations in PNG and Australia.
Air Niugini general manager Commercial Services Dominic Kaumu said the inclusion of the route was a strategic move as it provided an opportunity not only for Japanese divers and visitors, but also for those in Europe and North America to travel to the region.
“This service also feeds our regional network including Honiara in Solomon Islands, Nadi in Fiji and Port Vila in Vanuatu as well as destinations in Australia,” Kaumu said.
“This flight also provides convenience for the Japanese divers, tourists and even business people from both Japan and FSM to fly direct instead of going via Guam.
“With the existing Pohnpei-Chuuk-Port Moresby service, we will continue to provide convenient connections through Port Moresby for business and tourist travellers to various Air Niugini destinations in Papua New Guinea, South East Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australia.”
Narita International Airport Corporation executive director of marketing Takeshi Arakawa said more than 40 million passengers used Narita airport last year. And with Chuuk joining their network, it now increases their destinations to 138 cities.
“We welcome the new Air Niugini service between Narita and Chuuk as we firmly believe that this will further contribute to the growth of the airport and the community,” Arakawa said.
The Narita-Chuuk flight operates every Saturday.
The existing weekly POM-Chuuk-Pohnpei flight now operates on Thursday and returns on Friday.