Air Niugini adapts to changing aviation industry by launching domestic subsidiary


National carrier Air Niugini is aiming to deliver more choice for Papua New Guinean travellers through the establishment of Link PNG, a new low-cost domestic subsidiary.

Papua New Guinea’s aviation industry is set for a major shake-up next month when Air Niugini launches a domestic subsidiary, Link PNG.

The November 1 launch of Link PNG will coincide with Air Niugini’s 41st anniversary as an airline.

An Air Niugini plane arrives at Port Moresby's Jacksons International Airport

An Air Niugini plane arrives at Port Moresby’s Jacksons International Airport

Air Niugini chairman, Sir Frederick Reiher, described the establishment of the subsidiary as part of the airline’s restructure. He expected would open a new era in domestic travel in PNG.

‘The new subsidiary will operate on a low-cost carrier model, providing an affordable and safe service to the people of PNG,’ he said.

‘The carrier will also serve PNG routes on a community service obligation (CSO), ensuring that not only are remote and less profitable services maintained, but progressively expanded to meet the growing transport needs of the nation and its people.’

Reiher explained that the establishment of Link PNG would ensure that rather than air services in the country being reduced by the ownership restructure of Air Niugini Ltd and the injection of private sector capital, as has occurred in other countries in the Pacific, they will actually be guaranteed and increased.

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Several destinations, including Mt Hagen, Kavieng, Hoskins, Lae, Kundiawa, Madang, Wewak, Mendi and Daru, as well as PNG’s most popular air routes between centres like Port Moresby and Lae, will see an increase in flights, according to the airline.

Link PNG will operate as a separate entity under its own board and management, and be led by chief executive officer Daniel Wanma.

Air Niugini chief executive officer Simon Foo said the move was gearing Air Niugini to engage in smarter business practices in the delivery of its services, and in a cost effective manner.

Simon Foo, Air Niugini_email

Air Niugini CEO Simon Foo

He explained that Air Niugini had been operating in the same way for the past 40 years despite business practices and circumstances, economic climate and technology in the industry changing dramatically, both within the Pacific and globally.

‘It is imperative that Air Niugini embraces new and modern ways and means of delivering its services,’ Foo said.

Link PNG will be based at its own premises alongside the cargo operations at Port Moresby’s Jacksons Airport.

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