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April 10, 2021
Business

War of Words Continues over proposed Airlines Merger

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It’s become the David and Goliath story in the PNG Aviation.

Air Niugini subsidiary Link PNG’s bid to buy 60% shares of PNG Air.

While the acquisition is still before the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission for deliberation, Air Niugini CEO, Bruce Alabaster says Air Niugini would make PNG Air profitable with zero loss of jobs, no increase in fares and PNG Air running as its own entity.

Disputing this statement, PNG Air says the acquisition is for a merger and would create a monopoly in the Commercial Aviation industry in PNG.

Air Niugini and PNG AIR, the country’s two major commercial Airlines now going head to head on a proposed share for Air Niugini Subsidiary Link PNG to buy off PNG AIR’s 39.2% shares from Nasfund and further 20% shares from individual shareholders for a total 60% buy in PNG AIR.

Air Niugini CEO Bruce Alabaster adamant that PNG AIR will run as its own entity, with its own brand, but with efficient scheduling under a CODE SHARING agreement.

Mr Alabaster stating no Job loss and a Profitable PNG AIR.

PNG Air rebutting Air Niugini’s statement and asking them to check there own books before pointing fingers at PNG Air, also stating that to the best of their Knowledge Air Niugini had applied for the Acquisition of shares but did not state code sharing.

PNG Air CEO Anthony Pereira stating the whole idea was unrealistic to what Air Niugini has stated. Mr Pereira also stating the company is currently undergoing restructure and Auditing. And by 2021 it expects to finally pay dividends to shareholders.

The Airline gradually increased its routes and at 10% cheaper rates than Air Niugini stating the competition was allowing PNG Air to grow and asked for patience from shareholders. Air Niugini was asked if the acquisition was to assist with the aging fleet as the national carrier looks at replacing the Fokker Fleet.

PNG Air stating that there fleet was younger and owned by the company unlike Air Niugini who lease most of its’ aircrafts, while word of assurance has be given by Air Niugini on Job Security and Airfares.

PNG Air remains convinced if the acquisition goes forward, a monopoly market will be created and the PNG Customers will bear the cost.

But until ICCC finalizes the decision in July PNG AIR, Air Niugini and the country will have to wait to see the fate of commercial PNG Aviation Industry.

By Adelaide Sirox Kari, EMTV News, Port Moresby

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