Wel­come aboard

Paradise - - In Paradise Contents -

The board, man­age­ment and staff of Air Ni­ug­ini join with me in wish­ing you a healthy and pros­per­ous New Year. As 2017 be­gins, we at Air Ni­ug­ini are fo­cused on meet­ing the sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges we face in a dif­fi­cult en­vi­ron­ment for our na­tion and our econ­omy. In dif­fi­cult eco­nomic con­di­tions air­lines are im­pacted quite se­ri­ously.

Our chal­lenge is to man­age a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion while fully dis­charg­ing the obli­ga­tions we have as the na­tional car­rier to pro­vide air ser­vices to ev­ery province – and that in­cludes ser­vices that are un­prof­itable or mar­ginal.

I want to as­sure you the board and man­age­ment of Air Ni­ug­ini are fully fo­cused on do­ing so and, wher­ever pos­si­ble, just not main­tain­ing ser­vices but ex­pand­ing them to meet the grow­ing de­mand brought about by the de­vel­op­ment of tourist at­trac­tions and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment gen­er­ally.

How­ever, it is vi­tal we also con­tinue with the care­ful ex­pan­sion plans that we have been de­vel­op­ing for im­ple­men­ta­tion in 2017, and I want to out­line the key com­po­nents.

Our plans cen­tre on max­imis­ing the ben­e­fits for Air Ni­ug­ini, and the trav­el­ling pub­lic, of the sig­nif­i­cant re-de­vel­op­ment of Jack­sons In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Port Moresby, funded by the Na­tional Gov­ern­ment.

To do so, Air Ni­ug­ini is de­vel­op­ing our in­ter­na­tional air­port as a ma­jor hub for the Pa­cific Is­lands, and north­ern Aus­tralia, con­nect­ing with the rapidly de­vel­op­ing economies of South­east Asia and Asia gen­er­ally.

At the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber, our first reg­u­lar ser­vice con­nect­ing Pa­pua New Guinea and the Fed­er­ated States of Mi­crone­sia (FSM) com­menced. This will ben­e­fit the peo­ple, and the busi­nesses, of FSM, a re­gional neigh­bour and good friend. It will also greatly ben­e­fit trav­ellers from Aus­tralia and New Zealand, as well as from Ja­pan and our South­east Asian neigh­bours who want to visit FSM.

Early this year we will com­mence char­ter ser­vices to Shang­hai, China, ahead of the in­tro­duc­tion of reg­u­lar ser­vices to the world’s largest na­tion.

In our March sched­ule, we will make fur­ther ad­vances when Air Ni­ug­ini com­mences reg­u­lar ser­vices to Townsville, Queens­land. This step will en­hance the growth of the Jack­sons Air­port hub. Trav­ellers from Townsville, and sur­round­ing ar­eas, will be able to con­nect with our ser­vices to ma­jor des­ti­na­tions, in­clud­ing Sin­ga­pore, Manila, Hong Kong and Narita, and soon Shang­hai.

On the do­mes­tic front, Air Ni­ug­ini as the of­fi­cial car­rier of the 2017 PNG Games, will be up­lift­ing thou­sands of ath­letes to and from Hoskins in the West New Bri­tain Province. Over 9000 ath­letes from all over our coun­try will be com­pet­ing in at least 28 sports. The Games will run over two weeks.

In con­clu­sion, I want to take the op­por­tu­nity on be­half of the whole Air Ni­ug­ini fam­ily, and I be­lieve you our val­ued cus­tomers, to warmly con­grat­u­late Car­di­nal Sir John Ri­bat, Catholic Arch­bishop of Port Moresby, on be­com­ing the first from the Bish­ops Con­fer­ence of Pa­pua New Guinea and Solomon Is­lands to be made a Car­di­nal of the uni­ver­sal Catholic Church.

His el­e­va­tion re­flects the im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion the Chris­tian churches as a whole make to the life of our many com­mu­ni­ties right across Pa­pua New Guinea.

Air Ni­ug­ini is proud to be the car­rier for many of the clergy, mis­sion­ar­ies, teach­ers and health work­ers for all our churches – and we are priv­i­leged to wel­come on board our first car­di­nal.

I hope you en­joy your flight – and that we will be able to wel­come you back soon.

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