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.
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.