The Southern Highlands Provincial (SHP) Government has taken a significant stride in fostering enhanced air connectivity within the region. Today, it proudly announces the advancement of K2 million to PNG Air, a move designed to subsidize passenger air travel to and from Mendi.

This strategic initiative is underpinned by a multifaceted vision aimed at driving socio-economic growth within the Southern Highlands Province. The key objectives include promoting efficient and affordable connectivity for SHP residents and businesses with the rest of Papua New Guinea, facilitating market access for local commodities, and positioning SHP as an attractive travel destination.

"The collaboration with the SHP Government signifies a commitment to regional development and underscores the transformative power of strategic partnerships. We are honored to play a role in advancing socio-economic growth in the Southern Highlands Province," says Brian Fraser, CEO of PNG Air.

“My people will not be denied vital air services reaching Mendi and Moro. Further to this, there will be a subsequent press conference with relevant governement authorities to advise on the next steps that will allow the possibility of air travel in the Southern Highlands Province”, stated Hon. William Powi. This collaboration between the SHP Government and PNG Air reflects a robust public-private partnership, and is a great initiative by Hon. William Powi. The collaboration leverages PNG Air's air transport network, supported by modern ATR aircraft, to deliver tangible benefits to the people of SHP.

The successful commencement of these subsidized air travel services hinges on essential infrastructure works at the Mendi airport, a responsibility entrusted to the National Airport Corporation. Additionally, the Civil Aviation Authority's issuance of Part 139 certification for the Mendi airport is a critical step towards realizing this transformative initiative.

As we anticipate the positive outcomes of this collaboration, the SHP Government expresses gratitude for the continued support from PNG Air and all stakeholders involved. This endeavor not only aligns with regional development goals but also underscores the commitment to providing efficient and accessible air travel options that will catalyze growth and development in the Southern Highlands Province. Further updates on the progress of this initiative will be communicated in due course.