The Kiribati Transport Ministerial is in the thick of negotiations for direct flights between Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Kiribati.
The said talks are being held at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby.
Among the talking points of the ongoing discussions include a provision of draft PNG-Kiribati Air Services Agreement Text for mutual acceptance, and the identification of operating points for the respective parties for mutual occurrence and acceptance.
The possibility of using the Federated States of Micronesia as an intermediate under the agreement has also been broached.
“Whatever it’s going to be, specific ones will be discussed between our two airlines,” said Department of Transport Secretary, Roy Mumu.
Should the involved parties settle on mutually beneficial terms and conditions, the two nations’ Ministers of Transport would sign the respective documents.
At the moment, PNG has 14 existing air service agreements with several APEC economies, including neighboring Pacific island nations such as the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand.
“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,” Mumu said..
The specific details of the negotiations is set to be finalized depending on the outcome of today’s meeting with the air service delegates of Kiribati.
In related news, Kiribati’s Acting Director of Civil Aviation, Aako Teikake, expressed his gratitude to the the Government of PNG for accepting his country the development of the air services agreement, which would be significant for the expansion of Air Kiribati’s air connectivity through the regime.
“We are hoping to have a very favorable and fruitful outcome,” said Teikake.