The International Air Services Commission (IASC) has issued an interim determination which will allow Pionair to operate two weekly cargo services from Brisbane and Cairns to Port Moresby and other destinations in Papua New Guinea.
The carrier has been granted a cargo capacity allocation of 12 tonnes per week on the Papua New Guinea route for a period of three years, with the capacity to be utilised by no later than March 2011. The capacity will allow it to operate twice weekly utilising a Convair 580 Freighter, an aircraft it has utilised on a number of charter flights to PNG before.
HeavyLift Cargo Airlines and Pacific Air Express are the only other carriers to operate scheduled freighter services between Australia and PNG, although HeavyLift has not operated flights for some time. The market for air freight between the two countries is expected to grow strongly in coming years due to a number of growing resource projects in PNG.