By Fabian Hakalits – EM TV News, Port Moresby
National flag carrier, Air Niugini, and its subsidiary Link PNG will maintain its services in flying to every airport around the country.
Board Chairman, Sir Frederick Reiher, says that although flight operations reach 25 destinations, more than half of domestic services are not profitable.
Sir Frederick says the commitment to supporting national development is not without significant challenges, and flight services operated by Air Niugini and its subsidiary Link PNG must be maintained.
“That means the profitable services, and their passengers, are effectively subsidising the unprofitable services,” he said.
Air Niugini’s capacity depends on improving overall efficiency, which has to be supported by both the national and provincial governmen’s.
A means to improve will be to acquire more efficient aircraft, like the Fokker 70s, so all airports have the best aircraft movement and passenger facilities.
“We need the program that has been upgrading airports – such as Port Moresby, Hagen, Goroka, Lae, Alotau, and Hoskins – to continue.
“We need the national government, via the National Airports Corporation, to commit to another project that is vital to our efficient operations, and to meeting passenger demands,” he said.
Sir Fredrick says that more night flying capacity across the nation is needed because this limits Air Niugini’s ability to gain the maximum efficient use of its 24 aircrafts.
“It also is an impediment to tourism development, to business and industry, and commuters generally. It will help Air Niugini improve services, and keep downward pressure on airfares and freight costs,” he said.