PORT MORESBY, 20 DECEMBER 2023: Papua New Guinea takes its first historic step towards strengthening international relations and fostering economic growth with the inauguration of the INAUGURAL CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES FLIGHT FROM GUANGZHOU TO PORT MORESBY. This momentous event marks the very first regular direct flight between China and a South Pacific nation, heralding a new era of connectivity and cooperation.
MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND CIVIL AVIATION, HON. WALTER DAVID SCHNAUBELT stated, "This weekly flight service will open up the skies, allowing us to work together and strengthen the friendship between our nations. It's an encouragement for our traders and farmers to seize this opportunity and explore the potential market in China. The responsibility now falls upon us, the citizens of Papua New Guinea, to capitalize on this opportunity and open up our country's market to the world."
MINISTER FOR TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE, HON. ISI HENRY LEONARD highlighted, "Before 2019, the number of tourists coming to PNG was just over 6,000. In 2019, it rose to 14,000. Today's launch is a significant step towards venturing into the lucrative Chinese market, and I welcome all businessmen to explore PNG and enjoy your stay in our rainbow-colored country."
NCD GOVERNOR, HON. POWES PARKOP added, "On behalf of the capital city of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, I want to join the Ministers of Transport and Tourism in welcoming China Southern Airlines to our capital city. There is immense potential for export and import between our people and the People's Republic of China, as well as in the field of tourism. What this capital city can offer is a rich tapestry of diversity, encompassing a thousand tribes, vibrant cultures, time-honored traditions, captivating performances, and colorful festivals. All of this began with the visit of the Governor of Guangdong Province in June, and today, just five months later, we see the realization of our vision for stronger connections and partnerships."
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES, GUANGJI QU acknowledged, "I am happy to be here to witness the inaugural flight from Guangzhou to Port Moresby. On behalf of China Southern Airlines, we wish to thank all our passengers and partners for their support. A big congratulations to the cabin crew for the perfect landing of this flight, and to all passengers for traveling with us on this maiden flight. Papua New Guinea is the first country in the Pacific to initiate an MOU with China, and it represents the largest and most strategic partnership for our countries.”
THE AMBASSADOR OF THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA, HIS EXCELLENCY ZENG FANHUA expressed “Today, we all share the same sentiment about the first airline from China, and from today onwards, exchanges between our two countries will be more convenient with this direct flight. Together, we are turning our commitment into action quickly, not just making an announcement. China Southern Airlines took prompt action to implement the consensus of our leaders. This demonstrates China's remarkable speed and efficiency but also showcases PNG's speed and efficiency as well.
Following the morning's events, the visiting delegation from China adjourned to the second event, THE AMAZING PORT MORESBY VILLAGE SHOWCASE, hosted by NCD Governor Hon. Powes Parkop at the Hilton Hotel. This showcase provides a glimpse into why you should visit Port Moresby, the gateway to Papua New Guinea: for our breathtaking natural beauty, exciting adventures, rich cultural heritage, investment opportunities, thriving business prospects, and valuable trade offerings.
The day concluded with SPECIAL CURATED TOURS BY PNGTPA & NCDC TOURISM, where guests discovered the incredible diversity of Papua New Guinea's flora and fauna at Nature Park and captured memorable moments at Ela Beach.
Our appreciation goes to the dedicated committee members from the Governor's Office, NCDC, PNGTPA, China Southern Airlines, National Airports Corporation, Wonder Travel Agency, National Events, and DFA, who have dedicated their efforts to make this historic day possible.