Milne Bay Province has been recognised for its important contribution to the airline and tourism industry in Papua New Guinea.
The province is one of Papua New Guinea’s premier destinations, with its capital Alotau an identified spot under the national government Tourism Zone Support Initiative Program.
As a token of appreciation, national flag carrier Air Niugini has named its latest Fokker 70, ‘Alotau’.
Board Chairman, Sir Frederick Reiher, says Milne Bay has contributed significantly to Air Niugini’s growth, supporting flight services to Gurney and other smaller ports in the province.
Air Niugini is supporting this program and will continue to meet the travel needs of the Milne Bay people.
“Our services to Gurney Airport are well supported by the people, and businesses of the Province, and increasingly by tourists from within PNG overseas, who want to experience the outstanding tourism adventures the Province offers.
“Air Niugini appreciates that support – and we will continue to support the Province as it continues to grow, and meet the travel needs of the people of Alotau and Milne Bay as a whole,” Sir Frederick said.
Alpha November Tango named ‘Alotau’ is the forth of nine Fokker 70 aircraft acquired by Air Niugini.
These airplanes form a central component of the major re-fleeting and fleet upgrading program Air Niugini is undertaking.
“Air Niugini has now taken delivery of four F70 aircraft, with a fifth to join our fleet next month. There will be a further two and possibly four additions to the fleet over the next 18 months – bringing the total in the Fokker fleet (F70 and F100) to 15 airplanes,” he said.
Milne Bay Provincial Governor, Titus Philemon, says the airline industry is an important sector that drives economic activities.
“We want to thank the board and management of Air Niugini, for naming this Fokker 70, Alotau. On behalf of the people of Alotau and the Milne Bay Provincial Government, we would like to say thank you,” he said.
Alotau MP, Charles Abel, said Alotau will fly domestic and international routers serving the airports.
“And naming us this aircraft, is not going to only serve Alotau, but the whole country as well,”
I believe it has a long whole capacity, with the extra fuel tanks on board. And the idea is that sometimes in the near future, we will begin the seasonal direct flights from Brisbane-Australia to Gurney,” said Abel.
The unveiling was led b Governor Philemon and Minister Abel, and was witnessed by other state ministers such as National Tourism Minister, Tobias Kulang, Forestry Minister, Douglas Tomuriesa, Anthon Yagama who is the Parliamentary Secretary assisting the Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments, William Duma, Chairman of the Kumul Consolidated Holdings Chairman, Paul Nerau and Air Niugini Board Chairman, Sir Frederick Reiher.