Air Niugini will resume jet aircraft operations to Aropa airport in Kieta, Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB), effective Tuesday December 18.
The recommencement of jet operations is made possible following the installation of precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lights, which is a requirement for jet operations.
PAPI lights are a visual aid that is generally located beside the runway that provides guidance information to help pilots maintain the correct approach to an airport.
The PAPI light project was jointly funded by National Airports Corporation (NAC) and the Office of the Member for South Bougainville, Timothy Masiu.
Air Niugini General Manager, Commercial Services, Dominic Kaumu said these flights will operate twice weekly from Port Moresby to Kieta every Tuesday and Friday.
He said: “The flights on Tuesday will go direct from Port Moresby to Kieta and later onto Buka, Rabaul and back to Port Moresby whilst the Friday flight goes from Port Moresby to Rabaul, then Buka, Kieta and back to Port Moresby.
“The new Kieta flights will be operated by our Fokker 100 aircraft, which offers a more comfortable and faster journey, and the aircraft feature both economy and business class seats.
“Air Niugini will be the only airline offering nonstop flights between Port Moresby and Kieta, in addition to offering services between Kieta and Buka and Kieta and Rabaul.”
Air Niugini last operated to Kieta from December 2014 to July 2017 using Q400 turboprop aircraft.