Kulang hails naming of aircraft ‘Kokoda’

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tobias Kulang MP has welcomed the move by the national flag carrier Air Niugini to name its newest Fokker 70 aircraft “Kokoda”.

Minister Kulang said the name Kokoda, not only symbolises a significant part of our war history but that of our neighbours in Australia and the name also remains synonymous with the rest of the world.  

“Kokoda remains a flagship tourism product for PNG and by naming its latest Fokker 70 Kokoda, the Board and Management of Air Niugini have given more meaning and significance to the idles and values that define the history of the battle of Kokoda,” said Mr Kulang.

Minister Kulang said it was even more important that Kokoda should be accorded such recognition especially when we as a nation stand united with our friends from Australia and New Zealand to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Kokoda.

He said his Ministry through the Tourism Promotion Authority has already begun promoting special events to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Kokoda including participation at the ANZAC Day Dawn Service. Other similar events have been planned for Sogeri and Kokoda right throughout this year.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had unveiled the name Kokoda on Air Niugini newest F70 aircraft last week.

“Kokoda Track remains our top tourism attraction however numbers have dropped from almost 7,000 per year to about 3,500 in recent years and that is something we are all working to improve on,” said Minister Kulang.

“The announcement by Air Niugini to also offer those walking the Kokoda Track a special fare of $75 per sector to visit other parts of PNG is highly commendable in terms of increasing our tourist numbers.”

Minister Kulang also paid tribute to the family of the late Flight Lieutenant John Francis Jackson after whom our Jacksons International Airport is named and thanked them for travelling to PNG to unveil a plaque in honour of their late brother.

Press Release