For most of the last sixteen months, the runway at Mount Hagen has been restricted to Dash-8 turboprop aircraft to allow National Airports Corporation (NAC) to complete maintenance and upgrading work on the runway and taxiways at Kagamuga airport. This work is now complete.
Air Niugini CEO, Bruce Alabaster, said: “Mount Hagen is the largest transport and economic hub for the Highlands region, and during the runway maintenance works, our Dash-8 aircraft have been restricted to carrying as few as 20 passengers per flight. Our Fokker jet aircraft will carry up to 100 passengers, aiding the movement of people and of much needed necessities in terms of health, education and infrastructure materials to drive the government’s agenda on economic growth and delivery of services to the wider rural communities.
“Air Niugini will operate up to four flights to Mount Hagen every day using our Fokker 100 jets, thereby offering the fastest, smoothest and most comfortable flights for our customers,” Alabaster continued.
“Air Niugini has continuously provided service to Mount Hagen throughout the difficult runway maintenance period despite losing money on the route. We thank the people of Western Highlands and the travelling public for their patience over this difficult time, and we are delighted to be able to provide the greater capacity and reliability of services that our customers deserve now that jet operations are resuming.
“Air Niugini continues to operate with strict health and safety measures in place, including temperature testing of all passengers and providing face masks and hand sanitiser to ensure your air travel is safe.”