Reiher: Expand our airports

Air Niugini board chairman Sir Frederick Reiher has called on the National Government to expand its airports infrastructure and facilities improvement program.

Speaking during a dividend payment of K20 million to the State through Kumul Consolidated Holdings cheque presentation by Air Niugini last night in Port Moresby, Sir Frederick acknowledged the support from the Prime Minister and Kumul Consolidated Holdings for their continuous support to Air Niugini to deliver a sound profit and a good dividend to its shareholder.

“I also want to acknowledge the loyalty, hard work, and confidence of the airline’s management team and more than 2,000 employees who have worked together during the challenging transitional period the airline is going through.”

“The renegotiation of the employee contracts of the airline’s pilots, and others to follow, had helped ensure the airline will remain financially sound in a challenging airline industry and general national economic environment. Wider cost cutting and restructuring measures now under way will help ensure the airline remains not just viable, but is also able to improve its fleet and expand services to meet passenger demands,” he said.

Sir Frederick said the impact of the end of the first LNG project construction phase from which the airline had benefited significantly as the lead air services contractor had been a real challenge.

“However to achieve maximum efficiency, and ensure our passengers have a wider choice of flying times, Air Niugini must double the average of five hours a day it currently has for flying domestically.”

“Air Niugini encourages the National Government, and the National Airports Authority to expand the program of installing night navigation aids and airport lighting at all major domestic airports.”

“The introduction of the Fokker F70 jet aircraft to service all major domestic airports is well suited to night flying provided the best navigation aids and air field lighting is installed and maintained.”

“The Board and Management of Air Niugini are determined to make the airline as efficient as possible – as that is the best way to maintain and expand its air services in the country and keep air fares and freight costs as low as possible,” Sir Frederick said.

Freddy Mou