Managing director Alan Milne said 2018 was a tough year for the national flag carrier with substantial losses at the back of softening revenue and poor performance.
Milne said among the factors affecting Air Niugini’s performance were the Dash 8 aircraft burning in Mendi, Southern Highlands Province; the P2-PXE Boeing 737-8BK crash in Chuuk; and several loss making routes.
Milne said the state company has initiated a transformation program called ‘Higher Altitudes’ which aims to control cost, enhance revenue, develop staff and operational and customer excellence.
So far a K20 million cost saving has been made, with an improvement in NOPAT this year.
“Budget for 2019, K4.5 million profit. Pretty modest profit but that is a K60 million turnaround,” said Milne.
Some of the outcomes and achievements expected from the transformation program include:
- K20 million cost savings in 3 months;
- Rationalization of non-profit routes;
- Expanding code-share agreement with key partners;
- Focus on East-West Strategy and ‘Hubbing’ through Jackson’s International Airport
The outlook for 2019 will include:
- Increased staff engagement;
- Decreasing costs;
- Steady revenue;
- Operational performance in right; and
- Review of airlines strategy
Milne said Air Niugini’s success relied on collaboration.
“You need to hold us to account, are our prices too expensive? I know the answer to that. But it’s our opportunity to explain why our pricing is how it is.
“We promise to be competitive, we’ll do what we can to deliver on that promise. We need your support, we need you to buy Air Niugini tickets, and we need you to support the Air Niugini brand in conversations.”