Plane named in memory of Kokoda
One of Air Niugini’s Fokker 70 aircraft has been named Kokoda in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Kokoda Trail. Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, who officiated at the naming ceremony at Jacksons International Airport earlier this year, thanked Air Niugini for its recognition of the Kokoda Campaign.
He said the naming of the aircraft will help keep the memory of Kokoda alive, and that the campaign did not just define a battle in Papua New Guinea, but the struggle for the whole of the Pacific during World War 2.
He also said the naming of the plane is a move that encourages the growth of tourism that’s specifically linked to war-time history.
Air Niugini chairman, Sir Frederick Reiher, said it is a significant gesture to remember those involved in the war, including the ex-service personnel of PNG, Australia, New Zealand, their descendants and the carriers, now immortalised by the name ‘ fuzzy wuzzy angels’.
Sir Frederick also announced a special $AUD75 airfare, per sector, for passengers arriving in PNG on Air Niugini flights this year to walk the trail and visit other parts of PNG. ■
Namesake … Prime Minister Peter O’Neill (second from right) at the aircraft naming ceremony with the Minister for Tourism, Tobias Kulang; Cardinal Sir John Ribat; Air Niugini chairman, Sir Frederick Reiher; Air Niugini chief executive officer, Simon Foo; and other dignitaries.
In the war zone … ‘ fuzzy wuzzy angels’ taking care of a World War 2 soldier.