Wel­come aboard

Paradise - - Message From Chairman - Sir Fred­er­ick Rei­her, KCMG KBE Chair­man, Air Ni­ug­ini Lim­ited

Ihave much plea­sure in wish­ing the cus­tomers of Air Ni­ug­ini a happy and suc­cess­ful 2018. I would also like to take the op­por­tu­nity to out­line the air­line’s fo­cus this year.

These are chal­leng­ing times for the econ­omy of Pa­pua New Guinea and es­pe­cially for the air­line in­dus­try that has been im­pacted by ‘dis­cre­tionary’ spend­ing. That sim­ply means buy­ing an air­line ticket has to be bal­anced by our cus­tomers, more than ever, against other spend­ing de­mands and pri­or­i­ties.

De­spite these chal­lenges, Air Ni­ug­ini con­tin­ues to per­form well, and we have been pre­par­ing for the year ahead with a fo­cus on how we can serve you bet­ter.

I have writ­ten pre­vi­ously about our wide-rang­ing cost re­duc­tion and ef­fi­ciency measures. As much as pos­si­ble, we have im­ple­mented these measures with­out sig­nif­i­cantly re­duc­ing staff, and we have not re­duced do­mes­tic ser­vices.

The suc­cess achieved by our sub­sidiary air­line, Link PNG, has en­abled us to con­tinue to main­tain ser­vices to re­mote ar­eas as a com­mu­nity ser­vice, de­spite them be­ing less prof­itable. Our com­peti­tors are un­der no obli­ga­tion to do so.

The in­tro­duc­tion of the ro­bust Fokker 70 jet air­craft to take over our main do­mes­tic ser­vices and our re­gional ser­vices to the South Pa­cific and North Queens­land is start­ing to de­liver ben­e­fits – bet­ter ser­vices and greater ef­fi­ciency.

The first of our Fokkers has been fit­ted with new busi­ness and econ­omy class seats and cabin fea­tures, and the re­main­der of the fleet will be fit­ted out this year.

We have greatly im­proved our on­line ser­vices, prin­ci­pally via the Sabre Air­line So­lu­tion pas­sen­ger ser­vice sys­tem.

We have also ex­panded our in­ter­na­tional ser­vices to in­clude the Fed­er­ated States of Mi­crone­sia (FSM) and Townsville. These routes have been well re­ceived, and since De­cem­ber our week­end flights to FSM have been with a Boe­ing 737 to en­sure we con­tinue to pro­vide ad­e­quate ca­pac­ity.

Over­all, I be­lieve we have done as much as pos­si­ble to man­age the air­line in dif­fi­cult eco­nomic times and to pre­pare it for another chal­leng­ing year.

In 2018, we will work hard to build on new op­por­tu­ni­ties. Prin­ci­pal among these is PNG’s host­ing of the APEC lead­ers’ sum­mit in Novem­ber, when our coun­try will host many world lead­ers, in­clud­ing the pres­i­dents of the US, China, Rus­sia, Ja­pan and In­done­sia.

This important event, and its nu­mer­ous lead up meet­ings, will open the world’s eyes to our coun­try and all the ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for trade and in­vest­ment and peo­ple-to-peo­ple links.

In March, we will start reg­u­lar pas­sen­ger and freight ser­vices to China – fly­ing ini­tially twice weekly into Shang­hai.

PNG al­ready has sub­stan­tial trade and busi­ness links with China, but our flights will also have the po­ten­tial to open up new tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties for PNG and to en­hance Port Moresby as a re­gional hub for pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling from the South Pa­cific and North Queens­land to South­east Asia, and Asia gen­er­ally.

We are grate­ful to the Na­tional Govern­ment for the sig­nif­i­cant spend­ing it made to re-de­velop our in­ter­na­tional air­port, and to up­grade ma­jor do­mes­tic air­port run­ways, ter­mi­nals and fa­cil­i­ties as well.

In 2018, we will be­gin work on the es­tab­lish­ment of a ma­jor main­te­nance han­gar at Jack­sons Air­port – a fa­cil­ity that will cre­ate jobs and train­ing – and en­able us to bring heavy main­te­nance work on our Dash 8 and Fokker fleets in-house.

And we will be pre­par­ing in earnest for the ar­rival of the first two new Boe­ing 737 Max air­craft in 2020, with two more to fol­low in 2021.

In con­clu­sion, the as­sur­ance I want to give our val­ued cus­tomers and busi­ness part­ners is that the chal­lenge of dif­fi­cult times does not mean we will in any way com­pro­mise our im­pec­ca­ble safety record.

En­joy your flight – and we look for­ward to wel­com­ing you again soon.

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