Air Niugini staff arrive in Kokopo to celebrate 43rd anniversary

Air Niugini staff have been arriving in Kokopo since Thursday for the 43rd anniversary celebrations tonight at the Kokopo Beach Bungalow in East New Britain Province.

This year Air Niugini choses ENB to stage the anniversary as It’s a way of bringing Air Niugini to other parts of Papua New Guinea instead of having all anniversary celebrations centered around Port Moresby.

Last year, the anniversary celebrations were held in Mt Hagen and the year before in Lae.

From an humble beginning, Air Niugini took to the skies in 1973, taking over Papua New Guinea’s established domestic routes and opening up previously inaccessible areas to locals and tourists.

A growing number of passengers began to use the service and new local destinations were rapidly added.

In its first year alone, Air Niugini carried 350,000 passengers – massively exceeding initial forecasts.

By 1975 more aircraft were added to the fleet, bringing the total number to ten.

At the end of that year, Air Niugini went global – opening up a route to Brisbane, and a weekly service to Manila and Hong Kong.

Today Air Niugini and its subsidiary company, Link PNG operate to 25 domestic airports and 14 international destinations in Australia, Asia and the Pacific.

As the airline celebrates 43 years of service, more flights will be added over the next two months in time for the busy Christmas period.

There will be extra flights operating on many domestic routes, the reintroduction of Fokker 70 jet flights to Hoskins, more flights to Singapore, Manila, Hong Kong, Sydney, Cairns and a brand new international route to Federated States of Micronesia.

Freddy Mou