Plane named in mem­ory of Kokoda

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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.

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