Simon Foo

PX pushes for visa-on-arrival for China

CEO Simon Foo says this will complement the ‘approved destination status’ given to PNG by the Chinese Government.

He said a team has been working for the last 18 months to make the arrangement a reality.

“The approved destination status means our country has been approved by the Chinese government and that’s a very big tick that they regard us very closely as a nation to them, and their people will take on PNG as a favourite destination for the future.

“We just need to work out the details so that we can get visas-on-arrival on a reciprocal basis,” Foo said.

​More spending needed in hubs: Foo

This is to take advantage of PNG’s strategic location in the Pacific Region.

Speaking at the Australia-PNG Business Forum, he said airports in key hubs such as Mt Hagen, Lae and Rabaul need to be upgraded, which will significantly improve volume for the carrier.

“Currently we cannot bring a 737 into these ports. What will it be like if we can bring a 737 into those key hubs on a 24-hour operation?

“We’ll make a significant change to our volume,” Foo said.

​PX to invest in high maintenance facility

CEO Simon Foo announced during the Australia-PNG Business Council Forum in Port Moresby that the initiative will see more jobs, build capacity of aircraft engineers and retain foreign exchange in the country.

He said currently all high maintenance are done overseas.

“Currently we do our Dash 8 in Cairns, Fokker airplanes in Singapore, and the Boeing in China.

“The board will be investing in an MRO facility which will mean that we in Papua New Guinea can service our own planes in the country,” Foo said.

Air Niugini to commence flights to Townsville

The launching will be just in time for the NRL season and will also benefit the Central and North Queensland business communities who can now better access PNG and other Pacific and Asian cities through connecting flights at Jackson’s airport in Port Moresby.

These direct services will operate every Monday and Friday, departing Port Moresby at 09:55am and arriving in Townsville at 11:45am.

The return flight will depart Townsville at 12:30pm and arrives in Port Moresby at 2:20pm.

Air Niugini to increase flights on overseas routes

The airline company stated that flights from Port Moresby to Manila in the Philippines, and Sydney and Cairns in Australia will be increased.

From November 1, direct flights to Sydney will increase from two to three in a week and Manilla will see five flights compared to four currently starting on December 3.

Air Niugini chief executive officer Simon Foo said the flight increased is because of demand on these routes.

Polye calls for pilots’ reinstatement

He called on them not to compromise the safety of the travelling passengers.

Polye said the sacking of the pilots would result in the remaining pilots doing over time to cover loss of manpower and ultimate disruption of flight services.

He said this will risk the lives of the travelling passengers.

He called on the management of Air Niugini to place the safety of the travelling passengers as a priority.

Polye further called on the Minister for Public Enterprise to intervene.

O’Neill clears air on pilots’ sacking

O’Neill told Loop PNG that claims by Opposition leader Don Polye and Concerned Professionals spokesperson Captain James Makop on the sacking of eight Air Niugini pilots lacked evidence.

“Again their claims are absolutely false claims without any evidence, the state owned companies are managed independently.

“Politicians and intending candidates should stop using professionals and students for their political games,” O’Neill told Loop PNG.

Concerned professionals hit back at Air Niugini

Makop told Loop PNG that the decision was presumptuous and was against certain regulations and principles.

He described the scenario as a sad day for PNG that professional pilots who have contributed greatly to the country's development should be terminated based purely on political speculations.

He added that it will be a subject for the Labour and Industry Department and the judiciary to adjudicate.

Makop claimed that the decision was taken by the Air Niugini management to satisfy their political masters’ need for punitive measures.

Air Niugini continues to enhance role

Chairman of Air Niugini Sir Frederick Reiher revealed this when officially opening the 62nd Association of South Pacific Airlines(ASPA) annual conference in Kokopo, East New Britain last Wednesday.

Sir Frederick said with the support of the Prime Minister and the National Government,  Air Niugini’s strategy was consistent to ensure PNG strengthened and broadened its leadership role in the region.

PX boss Foo heads airlines grouping

Mr Foo took over from Air Calin’s CEO, Didier Taperro from New Caledonia who had held that position for six years.

Foo is not new to ASPA as he has been involved in the initial discussions representing Air Niugini with other Pacific Island airline executives leading towards the formation of ASPA in Suva, Fiji in 1979. ASPA is comprised of chief executive officers, managing directors and senior representatives from all airlines in the South Pacific.