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Air Niugini
Air Niugini logo.png
IATA
PX
ICAO
ANG
Callsign
NIUGINI [1]
Founded 1973
Hubs Jacksons International Airport
Member lounge Executive Club
Fleet size 19
Destinations 10 International
Headquarters Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Key people Wasantha Kumarasiri (CEO)
Website http://www.airniugini.com.pg

Air Niugini Limited is the national airline of Papua New Guinea, based in Port Moresby. It operates a domestic network from Port Moresby and Lae, as well as international services in Asia, Oceania, and Australia. Its main base is Jacksons International Airport, Port Moresby.[2] Niugini is the Tok Pisin word for New Guinea.

Contents

History

An Air Niugini Fokker 100 (P2-ANH) parked at Mt. Hagen's Kagamuga Airport, Papua New Guinea.

The airline was established in November 1973 as the national airline of Papua New Guinea with the government holding 60% of the shares, Ansett (16%), Qantas (12%) and Trans Australia Airlines (TAA) (12%).[2] It started as an exclusively domestic carrier; however it expanded to offer international services shortly thereafter. In founding the airline, the government aimed to encourage regional development in a country without an extensive road network. The airline was established using DC-3 and Fokker F27 aircraft.[3]

International services commenced very early on in the history of the airline with a leased Boeing B720 from 6 February 1976 to 2 February 1977. This was later replaced with a Boeing 707 purchased from Qantas.[4][5] During the late 1970s, internal services were performed by a combination of Fokker F28 jet and Fokker F27 turbo-prop aircraft. By the end of 1975 Air Niugini leased Boeing 727-200 type aircraft from Ansett and TAA to serve routes to Brisbane.[6] The airline also acquired a lease of a Boeing 707 from Qantas to commence a weekly service to Manila and Hong Kong.[6] In 1976, the government bought out the Qantas and TAA holdings and in 1980 acquired the Ansett shares to make the airline wholly government owned. The fleet of F-27s was phased out in the early 1980s with the introduction of the newly developed de Havilland Canada Dash 7 four-engine turbo-prop.

In 1979, Air Niugini opened routes to Honolulu and to Singapore via Jakarta. That same year, new facilities were opened at Jacksons Airport and new Sales Offices opened in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Europe and the United States.[7]

In 1984, the airline replaced the two Boeing 707 aircraft with an Airbus A300 on lease from TAA. This was replaced several years later with two Airbus A310s as the carrier expanded to offer flights principally between Australian Eastern capital cities and destinations in Asia such as Singapore and Manila.

The airline endured considerable hardships in the 1990s, with unrest in Bougainville and a volcanic eruption in Rabaul destabilising the company's busiest domestic services. The Asian currency crisis also made an impact, with Air Niugini posting financial losses during this decade. The government of Papua New Guinea responded by cutting jobs from the airline, suppressing wages, as well as opening offices in Asia and Europe in an attempt at having the airline run profitably. The reforms bore fruit by 2003, with the airline posting a profit of US$15.8 million for that year.

A Boeing 767 was acquired in August 2002, replacing the Airbus aircraft, and was used to offer expanded international services.[8] Combined with aggressive pricing, this made it the most competitively priced airline on many of its routes. A sharing agreement still exists with Qantas in which that airline buys "blocks" of seats on Air Niugini's flights between Port Moresby and Australia. Qantas also has a code share agreement for seats between Cairns in Australia and Port Moresby.

The financial turnaround seems to have stymied pressure from various sectors, including the IMF and the Australian Government, to privatise the national carrier. The PNG government has voiced concerns that privatisation would jeopardise domestic routes that provide a vital service to regional people and encourage economic development, but which fail to realise a profit.

From September 2004, Fokker F100s have been introduced to start to replace the aging Fokker F28 aircraft that are used on domestic routes, the daily Cairns service, and the twice a week service to Honiara in the Solomon Islands.

In March 2006, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Don Polye announced an open air policy, which would allow other airlines to fly international routes into and from Papua New Guinea. The policy will take effect in 2007.[9]

On December 2007, Air Niugini returned its leased Boeing 767 aircraft to its owners, Viva Macau.[10] The airline has taken up a lease with Icelandair for a Boeing 767-300ER and a Boeing 757-200W.[11]

On the 18th of April, 2008, flights commenced on the Sydney-Port Moresby route initially using leased Embraer 190 aircraft leased from SkyAirWorld of Australia. [12][13]

Destinations

Fleet

The Air Niugini fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of May 25, 2009)[14] [15]:

Air Niugini Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
(Economy)
Notes Destinations[16]
Boeing 757-200 1 234 Leased from Icelandair Port Moresby - Brisbane, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Sydney
Boeing 767-300 1 250 Leased from Icelandair Port Moresby - Brisbane, Manila, Singapore, Tokyo
Fokker 100 6 98 Replaced Fokker F28 Alotau, Brisbane, Buka, Cairns, Honiara, Kavieng, Lae, Madang, Manus Island, Mount Hagen, Nadi, Port Moresby, Rabaul, Vanimo
Dash 8-100 2 36 Both are now Freighters and operate under Air Niugini Cargo PNG Domestic
Dash 8-200 3 36 PNG Domestic
Dash 8-300 3 50 PNG Domestic / Port Moresby - Cairns

Air Niugini has ordered 1 Boeing 787-8 this is to be delivered in 2014.[17]

On October 2nd, 2009, Bombardier Aerospace announced that Air Niugini ordered two new Q400 NextGen aircraft from them, with an option for a third.[18]

Former Fleet

Reference: [19]

Onboard

Classes of Service Air Niugini offers 2 classes of service — Business Class and Economy Class. Most domestic routes have Economy Class only, while all international routes offer both service classes (except for services to Cairns and selected afternoon services to Brisbane).

Food and Beverage Service Air Niugini offers complimentary food and beverages on almost all flights. On domestic routes, a snack and drink are served. On all international routes, a meal is served, complete with tea, coffee, alcohol, and other drinks.

In-flight Duty Free Air Niugini offers an in-flight Duty Free shop on all international flights. A Duty Free catalogue is located in each seat pocket, and a range of perfume, jewelry, alcohol, cigarettes, and souvenirs can be purchased. Air Niugini accepts payment in PNG Kina, Australian Dollars, or US Dollars.

Entertainment Air Niugini offers entertainment on selected international routes. Domestic flights, as well as flights to Cairns, Honiara, and Nadi, do not usually provide entertainment, but passengers to Brisbane, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Singapore, Manila, Hong Kong, and Tokyo can enjoy movies and a range of music. Headphones are provided free of charge, but are not allowed to be taken off the aircraft.

Paradise Magazine Paradise magazine, Air Niugini's in-flight magazine, is complimentary on most flights. The magazine, produced every 2 months, contains a range of Papua New Guinea information and stories, as well as Air Niugini details and route maps.

Executive Club

Executive Club is Air Niugini's lounge and affiliated privileges. 3 memberships (Blue Card, Green Card, and Corporate) allow certain benefits to membership holders. Blue Card memberships give advantages such as additional baggage allowance, advance seat selection, discounts on duty-free purchases, priority baggage handling, and domestic Paradise Lounge access. Green Card memberships provide all Blue Card privileges as well as extra benefits such as international Lounge Access in Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Manila, Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Corporate memberships are made up of Blue and Green Cards.

External links

References

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