New fleet, new op­por­tu­ni­ties

IN­SIDE VIEW Sir Fred­er­ick Rei­her, Chair­man of PNG’S na­tional air­line, Air Ni­ug­ini, de­scribes the air­line’s plans for ex­pan­sion and, po­ten­tially, a new own­er­ship struc­ture.

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Aviation -

Air Ni­ug­ini en­ters 2016 in sound shape, op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture for the air­line, and for all our val­ued em­ploy­ees. Dur­ing 2015, we had two ma­jor achieve­ments. Firstly, we es­tab­lished Link PNG as a wholly owned sub­sidiary, ser­vic­ing dis­tant and re­mote air­ports and com­mu­ni­ties to help us de­liver our com­mu­nity ser­vice obli­ga­tions.

Se­condly, the first two of nine Fokker F70 jet air­craft ar­rived. Four more air­craft will be added in 2016. Four Boe­ing 737MAX air­craft have also been or­dered, for de­liv­ery in 2020 and 2021, to up­grade our international ser­vices.

As we ex­pand our fleet—and have what will be a sub­stan­tially jet air­craft fleet—we must im­prove our pro­duc­tiv­ity sub­stan­tially.

That means longer flight hours each day, driven by the growth in night fly­ing, which our pas­sen­gers in­creas­ingly ex­pect.

The es­tab­lish­ment of Jack­sons Air­port as a re­gional ‘hub’ for our Pa­cific neigh­bours is well ad­vanced and will be a pri­or­ity in the year ahead, with ex­panded and new ser­vices.

The re­de­vel­oped Jack­sons Air­port ter­mi­nals re­ally pro­vide the right ar­rival and de­par­ture en­vi­ron­ment for our pas­sen­gers, and for the pas­sen­gers of our re­gional part­ner­ship air­lines. Bet­ter ter­mi­nals, more pas­sen­ger-friendly ar­range­ments, and faster and more fuel-ef­fi­cient air­craft will en­sure we meet the grow­ing de­mands of our pas­sen­gers and our com­mer­cial cus­tomers.

One of the great chal­lenges of the im­me­di­ate fu­ture will be the part­ner­ship of new in­vestors at the same level of own­er­ship in Air Ni­ug­ini as the na­tional gov­ern­ment, which is cur­rently the sole share­holder.

Our aim is to achieve this in the present decade.

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