July 17, 2023


One little boy’s dream of becoming an aircraft engineer has only started.

Alex Ontimo, a 15- year old, grade six student at Sevese Morea Primary school at Vabukori village in Port Moresby has always been passionate about airplanes, growing up.

It was a dream come true when he visited Air Niugini’s Engineering hangar at 7mile, Jackson’s airport in Port Moresby last Friday, 07 July where he had the opportunity to see what engineers do on a daily basis, saw upfront the aircraft engine, landing gears, tyres and board an Air Niugini aircraft for the first time.

Under the close guidance of Air Niugini’s General Manager, Engineering Mr Ferdinand Almeda, the young boy was taken on a tour of ANG’s Dash 8, Q400 and a Fokker 100 aircraft. The experience was made even more memorable by visiting the flight deck and sitting on the captain’s seat.

“ I am just too excited, I do not know what to say right now. I cannot believe Iam in an actual aircraft right now.” Alex said

He was accompanied by his 13- year old brother, Eric and their mother, Tai. There was an additional touch to the whole experience with Air Niugini’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Gary Seddon making time out of his busy schedule to accompany the youngster on his tour.

Mr Seddon said “ Every child has a dream that is unique to him or her and there is nothing more rewarding than supporting a child with passion and igniting that dream.”

Growing up, young Alex was always passionate about building things using his father’s carpentry tools, timber and anything around the house that he could lay his hands on.

His mother said “ My son’s passion was further fuelled a few years back when he saw a group of young men working on an engine at a learning institution somewhere at the Gordons Industrial centre. Iam not really sure if it was an aircraft or a ship engine, but definitely not a vehicle engine, it was huge. “

“ This ignited my son’s passion of becoming an aircraft engineer, he couldn’t stop talking about it. For now, he is doing well in school, getting good grades, I always encourage him to work harder to maintain his marks or do better, if he is to reach his goal of becoming an aircraft engineer.” Mrs Ontimo humbly said

Young Alex is from a mixed parentage of New Ireland and Central Provinces, his father, Eric is from Nonopai village in New Ireland while the mother, Vabukori in Port Moresby South electorate. Mrs Ontimo works at the National Parliament as a Stock Controller while the father is self-employed.

Mrs Ontimo acknowledged Air Niugini for the opportunity provided to her son to visit the hangar. She hopes the youngster continues to do well in school and takes advantage of the current training opportunities provided by Air Niugini.

Prior to visiting the engineering hangar, young Alex had the opportunity to visit Air Niugini’s head office where he was presented with a Boeing 767 aircraft model and meet one of ANG’s Boeing fleet Captains who is also the current Acting General Manager, Flight Operations, Capt Samiu Taufa, a product of Air Niugini’s own Pilot Cadet scheme.

“As the national airline, Air Niugini is always encouraged by young Papua New Guineans who are passionate of becoming aircraft engineers, pilots, accountants or any role they can play within the airline.  We have opportunities available, all they need to do is study hard, get good grades and apply.” Mr Seddon concluded


Corporate Communications Department

Thursday 13 July, 2023