|Hubs||Jacksons International Airport|
|Airport lounge||Executive Club|
|Headquarters||Jacksons International Airport
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
|Key people||Simon Foo (CEO)|
Air Niugini Limited is the national airline of Papua New Guinea, based in Air Niugini House on the property of Jacksons International Airport, 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. Niugini is the Tok Pisin word for 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%). 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.
International services commenced very early on in the history of the airline with a leased Boeing 720 from 6 February 1976 to 2 February 1977. This was later replaced with a Boeing 707 purchased from Qantas. 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. The airline also acquired a lease of a Boeing 707 from Qantas to commence a weekly service to Manila and Hong Kong. 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. Air Niugini operated their Boeing 707 from Auckland to Hong Kong via Port Moresby in a tripartite agreement with Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific. This service ran from 1981 to 1985.
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 via their hub Port Moresby.
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. 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.
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.
On December 2007, Air Niugini returned its leased Boeing 767 aircraft to its owners, Air New Zealand. The airline briefly entered a wet lease arrangement with Viva Macau before taking up a lease with Icelandair for a Boeing 767-300ER and a Boeing 757-200W. The 757 was returned in March 2011 and replaced with two additional 767-300ER aircraft.
Domestic destinations: Port Moresby, Lae (Nadzab), Mount Hagen, Madang, Rabaul, Kavieng, Manus Island, Wewak, Goroka, Wapenamanda, Daru, Buka, Tabubil, Popondetta, Alotau (Gurney), Bulolo, Kundiawa, Kimbe (Hoskins), Tari, Lihir, Mendi, Vanimo.
International destinations: Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Bali (Denpasar), Honiara, Nadi, Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Cebu, Tokyo (Narita).
|Boeing 767-300ER||3||—||250||2 leased from Icelandair|
|Boeing 787-8||0||1||315||Delivery after 2014 |
|Bombardier Dash8 Q100||2||—||30|
|Bombardier Dash8 Q200||4||—||36|
|Bombardier Dash8 Q300||4||—||50|
|Bombardier Dash8 Q400||6||—||74|
|Dassault Falcon 900X||1||—||18||Government|
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 food and beverages on almost all flights. On domestic routes, a snack and drink are served. On all international routes, a meal is served.
In-flight duty-free Air Niugini offers an in-flight Duty Free shop on all international flights.
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 are offered movies and a range of music.
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 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.
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- Flight International 27 March 2007
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- International Growth, AirNiugini.com
- "ANG fleet". Airniugini.com.pg. 2006-05-31. Retrieved 2013-06-30.[dead link]
- Pacific Magazine
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- "IslandBusiness".[dead link]
- Trevor Michie. "ANG in 2008". Michie.net. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
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- Air Niugini inflight magazine 'Paradise' issue July 2008
- "Bombardier Signs Contract with Air Niugini for Two Q400s". Luchtzak.be. 2009-10-04. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
- Trevor Michie. "Air Niugini Fleet Information". Michie.net. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
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