February 2, 2023

Air Niugini management is working hard to reduce some recent effects on the airlines schedule which has been affected by several external factors.

While the airline ended 2022 on a high note with excellent OTP (On Time Performance) the new year has to date not continued this trend.

Air Niugini’s General Manager, Commercial Paul Abbot said that several factors have combined and as a result has unfortunately meant customers are seeing a higher number of disrupted or downgraded flights than the airline would like.

Urgent runway repair work being conducted by National Airports Corporation in Mount Hagen has meant that flights have had to be downgraded from Fokker 100 to smaller Fokker 70 and Dash 8 aircraft without advance notice, and with up to 5 flights a day into Mt Hagen this had meant a backlog of passengers affected by the airline having to operate these smaller aircraft. In the past 3 days alone, this has seen 22 flights to Mt Hagen affected by aircraft downgrades. In addition, the Dash 8 fleets (Q400 and Classic) which make up more than 30 flights of the daily schedule have been undergoing unscheduled airworthiness reviews as mandated by De Havilland, the aircraft manufacturer, with the flow on effect to the schedule being quite significant. Air Niugini is also working with NAC to reactivate the runway lights at Nadzab and Kavieng which will enable the airline to resume night operations to both of these critical airports.

The airline apologises to its customers for the reduction in service levels. “This is not a situation we are happy with but rest assured we continue to work hard on the elements we can control in order to minimise the impact on our customers”.
On a more positive note, Air Niugini will run two Monthly Madness sales in February, noting the massive interest last week’s sale created and the opportunity that these low fares provide to enable Papua New Guineans to travel. The travel periods for these sales fares will be in the next month or so when the current operational issues with Mt Hagen and the Dash 8 fleets will have been resolved.

Corporate Communications Department
Thursday 2nd February 2023