STATE Enterprises Minister William Duma says Air Niugini flights are cancelled only when an aircraft has to undergo an unscheduled maintenance, or experiences a technical fault.

“(Flights have to be cancelled) because Air Niugini takes safety of the flight very seriously,” he said.
“Sometimes, flights are cancelled for reasons beyond our control, such as (adverse) weather conditions.”
Duma assured travellers that flight cancellations would end after the introduction of more aircraft, improved engineering facilities and increased manpower.
“These are part of ongoing plans,” he said.
He was responding to social media posts regarding the credibility of Air Niugini’s engineering department, and the reliability of its fleet of aircraft.
“Air Niugini places the utmost importance on safety and takes pride in upholding the highest standards,” he said.
“Commercial aviation in Papua New Guinea is regulated because airlines operate in a challenging environment.
“Every aspect of Air Niugini’s operations is regulated – flight operations, engineering, and training.
“All (are) covered by our safety management systems designed to always keep our passengers and crew safe.”
Duma said Air Niugini planned to buy and lease 11 aircraft to replace their Fokker-model planes.
Air Niugini is also acquiring two wide-body Boeing 787-8 aircraft.
The total programme, worth K3 billion, would also involve pilot training and recruitment, and upgrading the engineering division.
The new aircraft will start arriving from late 2024.
The airline is also adding Boeing 737-800 jets and four Dash-8 Q400 aircraft by this September.
It would bolster services leading up to the December peak period.
Duma said Air Niugini was undergoing internal changes to improve employee working conditions and address overdue organisational challenges, such as expired employee contracts.
In addition, all in-flight catering will be brought back to the company.
Duma thanked the airline’s employees who have been working hard to keep the national airline flying through difficult and trying circumstances.
The airline also announced the resumption of its Fokker jet services to Kagamuga Airport, Western Highlands, following the completion of the runway maintenance by the National Airports Corporation.
Source: FB

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