Media Announcement - 15 December 2016
PNG Air first year of operation
PNG Air has completed its first year of operation after launching the new airline on 4th November 2015 with the arrival of the first of its brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft. Since then the airline has taken significant steps forward, ticking off every ambitious goal it had set itself for the first year of operation.
“In a year which was tough going for many businesses we have continued to make good on the promises we made when we launched,” commented Murray Woo Chairman of PNG Air. “We have brought in 5 brand new ATRs in the year, each one direct from the manufacturer, introduced the new livery and significantly upgraded our product and services.”
“With the support of our shareholders, MRDC and Nasfund in particular, we made the decision to work towards providing the best possible aviation service for PNG and I am proud of the efforts from all our staff to make that a reality,” Mr Woo added.
“We committed to bringing to PNG brand new aircraft because this country deserves the best and because we firmly believe that the ATR offers the best possible long term solution for PNG conditions and network requirements. We committed to upgrading our services and creating new routes because our customer base, the people of PNG, told us what they need and what works for them,” said Mr Woo.
“We take very seriously the fact that our shareholder base comprises grassroots Papua New Guineans who entrust us to move them around the country to connect with family and friends and for business.”
Over the past 12 months the airline has:
“It has certainly been an eventful year for the airline and next year promises to be equally exciting with more new services and product enhancements, and the addition of another 2 brand new ATRs into service. Our thanks go to an incredibly supportive shareholder base, loyal and committed staff and to the people of PNG who have shown their trust in us and who have supported us from day one,” Mr Woo said.
Media Announcement - 12 December 2016
PNG Air launch Inflight Entertainment for Christmas
PNG Air have announced inflight entertainment will be launched for the two weeks commencing 13 December on selected flights.
“We’d like to help people get into the Christmas spirit and also say thanks to all those who have supported us in our first year of operation so we will be providing entertainment on board a large number of our services.” said Paul Abbot, Chief Commercial Officer of PNG Air. “Together with the team from EMTV and a number of the stars from the hit series Vocal Fusion, passengers checking in and on board the aircraft will be treated to live entertainment as our way of ending the year on a high.”
Artists featured on PNG Air flights for the next two weeks include Joseph Ehava, Theo Benjamin, Didi Maru, Isaiah Mano and Peter Ho’leong.
“Don’t be surprised also if you see some of our very talented Flight Attendants joining in as part of the fun.” Abbot said.
Media Announcement - 9 December 2016
PNG Air welcomes 5th brand new ATR 72
PNG Air have announced that the airline’s 5th brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft (P2-ATD) arrived in Port Moresby this week and will begin commercial operation today, 9 December.
The addition of another brand new ATR to the airline’s fleet will provide even greater options for travellers and more opportunities to fly on PNG’s newest aircraft.
“Having the 5th new ATR begin commercial service today means the airline’s domestic schedule now offers further significant improvements for travellers in PNG,” said Paul Abbot, Chief Commercial Officer of PNG Air. “We have been able to increase the number of flights operating with ATR aircraft which means more people than ever before will be able to enjoy the superior comfort and quietness of PNG’s newest aircraft fleet.”
“PNG people love flying on the ATR and it’s a real step up from what has been available before,” Mr Abbot added.
The changes to the airline’s schedule include:
“We are excited that the latest addition to our fleet now means PNG Air are operating the youngest commercial fleet in PNG. When we began the re-fleeting program one of our key priorities was to provide PNG with the best aviation service possible using brand new aircraft and not recycled ones from other markets. With our shareholder base being very much the people of PNG we take great pride in providing state of the art aircraft and a level of service that the PNG travelling public deserves,” Mr Abbot said
Media Announcement - 25 November 2016
PNG Air confirm first flights to Jayapura
PNG Air has announced that it will begin international services from Mount Hagen to Jayapura in Indonesia in February 2017.
The airline’s CEO Muralee Siva said “We are delighted to confirm that approval has been given for PNG Air to begin services to Jayapura.”
“We see opening this route as both giving more options to our passengers and as a boost to PNG’s economic development,” Mr Siva added.
“Since we announced our intention to begin flights to Jayapura interest from our customers has been very strong. Mt Hagen plays an increasingly important role in our network and I’m very pleased to announce both the Jayapura services and that we will shortly be opening a Customer Lounge facility at Mount Hagen,” Mr Siva said.
PNG Air will introduce its 5th brand new ATR to its domestic network in December 2016. This comes on the back of other customer service initiatives including the redevelopment of the Kiunga terminal and its VIP lounge area, introducing an on-line check-in facility, SMS updates for disrupted flights and new sales outlets in Port Moresby and Lae.
Media Announcement - 24 November 2016
PNG Air services to Goroka
PNG Air has announced that services will re-commence into Goroka.
Chief Commercial Officer Paul Abbot said “We thank the staff at NAC who have reacted swiftly to resolve the issue of runway damage and made the repairs necessary to allow for safe and ongoing operations.”
Media Announcement - 16 November 2016
PNG Air services to Goroka
PNG Air has announced that due to damage to the runway at Goroka reaching a level that the airline feels poses a significant safety threat to ongoing operations, the airline has cancelled scheduled services to the port until further notice.
Chief Commercial Officer Paul Abbot said “We are monitoring the situation daily and we hope that necessary repairs will be carried out quickly so we can resume services as soon as possible. We regret the inconvenience this may cause to the public, but safety of operations for our passengers has to be the primary concern”.
Media Announcement - 9 November 2016
PNG Air signs for 5 more ATR 72-600s
PNG Air today announced that it has agreed to acquire 5 more brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft from the manufacturer, the French company ATR, with the first of the new aircraft to be delivered in 2019.
The airline will have 5 ATRs in its fleet by December this year, giving it the youngest fleet in the country, and will have 2 more ATRs by the end of 2017. The 5 additional new aircraft will bring the total ATR fleet to 12.
Muralee Siva, CEO of PNG Air, said “The introduction of the brand new ATR 72-600s underpins our strategy to bring modern, affordable, comfortable and dependable air services to the PNG domestic market. PNG deserves the best.”
“This order moves us closer to operating an all ATR fleet and we’re delighted that progressively more and more of our passengers will be flying on the ATR. As the new ATRs have come in we have reduced our Dash 8 fleet, and that process will continue. The Dash 8 remains a very good and capable aircraft, and will continue to operate on the smaller regional hubs and in providing excellent freight services,” Mr Siva said.
“We have been very pleased with the performance and reliability of the ATR, and our passengers appreciate flying in brand new state of the art aircraft and enjoy the comfort they offer,” Mr Siva added.
ATR aircraft are the world’s best-selling regional turboprop aircraft, representing 80% of sales for such aircraft since 2010, and are flown by over 60 carriers in Asia and the Pacific.
Media Announcement - 9 November 2016
PNG Air services to Misima
PNG Air advise that operations to Misima have resumed today.
A site inspection has been conducted on the airstrip and it is now deemed safe to resume operations.
PNG Air apologises to any passengers affected by the recent closure but stress that safety will always be the primary concern for the airline when making these decisions.
Media Announcement - 7 November 2016
PNG Air services to Misima
PNG Air advise that due to adverse weather conditions causing damage to the runway perimeter at Misima there are serious concerns regarding aircraft operations to this port.
As a result, scheduled services are cancelled until further notice.
The situation is being monitored on a daily basis with the airline hoping to resume services as soon as possible.
Media Announcement - 21 October 2016
PNG Air supports Pinktober
PNG Air staff have got in behind supporting Pinktober this month.
Pinktober is the annual programme run by the Papua New Guinea Cancer Foundation to raise awareness for woman’s cancer. The programme is developed around increasing general awareness of the importance of regular check-ups, symptoms and treatment of these diseases which impact the lives of so many in this country.
Flight attendants on PNG Air flights are wearing the Pink Ribbon badge to show their support for this worthy cause while all staff have the option to attend staff workshops focussed on woman’s health and wellbeing. Throughout the month of October the Papua New Guinea Cancer Foundation are running free workshops for the general public and at business houses to educate as many people as possible.
Media Announcement - 19 October 2016
PNG Air bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Effective immediately PNG Air has banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from all flights.
PNG Air’s Chief Commercial Officer Paul Abbot said “This action has been taken as a direct result of significant safety incidents involving the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. As safety is our primary concern we have taken this step in order to ensure that our passengers and crew are not exposed to any situation that could potentially endanger them”.
“Passengers are advised that the device will not be permitted to be carried as checked baggage or as part of their carry-on baggage and are reminded that they also have the responsibility to answer all questions honestly during the check in process. Due to the risk associated with these devices we would urge passengers to be mindful of what they are carrying and the potential risk to themselves and other passengers.”
Media Announcement - 21 September 2016
PNG Air offers web check-in for passengers
PNG Air has announced the introduction of web based check-in for its domestic passengers.
PNG Air’s Chief Commercial Officer Paul Abbot said “Web check-in allows passengers to go online to check in for their PNG Air flight and select the seat they want. For those travelling with just carry-on luggage this means no need to stand in line waiting to be checked in. If travelling with checked baggage we have bag drop areas identified to help speed up that process as well. Either way, it’s a far more convenient start to your journey.”
“The actual process for checking in online is very simple. Just log onto www.pngair.com.pg go to ‘Manage My Booking’ and follow the prompts from there. With more and more travellers using the web to help make their travel choices we see this as a natural extension to the booking process and as a way of making life easier for PNG Air passengers.”
Web check-in is available from 48 hours before flight departure, up to 3 hours before the departure time.
Media Announcement - 15 September 2016
PNG Air announces changes to its Dash 8 aircraft lease terms and conditions
PNG Air today announced that it had today successfully concluded the first stage of amending the terms of its leasing of 7 Dash 8-100 aircraft. As the company has progressively introduced brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft to its fleet, excess capacity has developed in its existing Dash 8 aircraft fleet. Eight of those aircraft were leased from international lessors, on operating lease terms.
The company accordingly sought to return some leased aircraft to the lessors of those aircraft, and to amend the commercial terms under which other aircraft were leased.
The company has today successfully concluded an agreement which has the effect of reducing the lease terms of 4 of the leased Dash 8 aircraft by nearly 5 years (on average) and reducing the monthly rent by approximately 25%. The new lease terms also allow more favourable requirements regarding payment of maintenance costs, and more favourable obligations on return of the aircraft at the end of the lease terms.
Regarding the other 4 leased Dash 8 aircraft, the company returned one of these aircraft to its owner in late March 2016, approximately 10 months before the scheduled expiry of the lease term. The company expects to return the remaining 3 leased Dash 8s to their owner over the next month, which will be between 6 and 8 years before the scheduled expiry of each lease term. Payments to be made in connection with the return of those aircraft represent a large saving for the company against the future lease obligations, on a net present value basis.
The aircraft returns, and the reduction in the lease terms of the Dash 8s that continue to be leased, allow the company to remove existing excess fleet capacity and to continue in future to keep its fleet aligned with expected capacity requirements.
Media Announcement - 04 August 2016
PNG Air opens new sales office downtown Port Moresby
PNG Air has opened a new sales office to serve customers and businesses located in downtown Port Moresby.
PNG Air’s Chief Commercial Officer Paul Abbot said “The new office on the ground floor of the Pacific MMI building offers a very convenient location for our customers based in the CBD area”.
“Being on the ground floor helps people see where we are and makes it quick and easy to get to. We have added additional staff in order to ensure that our customers are served quickly and professionally. We’re delighted with this new way of getting our products to our customers in Port Moresby.”
Office hours are 8 AM to 5 PM Monday to Fri and 8 AM to 1230PM on a Saturday
Media Announcement - 21 April 2016
PNG Air commences services to Aropa
PNG Air announced the commencement of scheduled services to Aropa effective25 April 2016.
“We are really pleased with the support we are receiving from travellers in PNG and as a result are looking to increase the number of ports we service.,” said Paul Abbot, Chief Commercial Officer of PNG Air.
“In December we commenced services to Vanimo and on Monday we will start operating the new ATR linking Buka and Aropa. Fares between these two ports start from only K279 and we will offer connections through to other ports in PNG”
“For the airline it’s about making sure that we help with the development of the country and increasing the options for people and businesses to connect”
Fares ex Aropa to other ports start from K436 to Kokopo, and K634 to LAE” Mr Abbot said.
Media Announcement - 21 April 2016
PNG Air increases schedule with arrival of the third new ATR
PNG Air advise that the arrival of the airlines third new ATR aircraft means even greater options for travellers and the opportunity to fly on PNG’s newest aircraft.
“Our schedule due to commence on Monday 25th April now offers some significant improvements for travellers in PNG” said Paul Abbot, Chief Commercial Officer of PNG Air. “In addition to increased frequency on a number of ports we will be commencing ATR operations into Kieta Airport (Aropa) and will be providing domestic connections between Aropa and Buka.”
The changes to the airlines schedule include:
“We are excited about the increased frequency on key ports and the option now of running our Dash 8 aircraft configured for freight to support Mt Hagen, Lae and the Islands where we are seeing increased demand for bulk goods” Abbot said
Media Announcement - 19 April 2016
PNG Air welcomes third ATR 72-600 to its fleet
PNG Air has welcomed a third brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft, P2-ATB, into its fleet.
The aircraft completed its ferry flight from the ATR factory in Toulouse France and touched down at Port Moresby’s Jacksons International Airport in the early hours of Sunday morning. The ferry flight was conducted by PNG Air pilots under the command of Captain Adam Loughrey.
PNG Air’s Chairman Murray Woo said “This new aircraft is part of our ongoing commitment to refleeting the airline with brand new aircraft better suited to meet the future demands of the PNG market. By the end of 2016 we will have 5 new ATR’s serving our network and supporting the development of PNG”
“With the arrival of this aircraft we will launch a new commercial schedule on 25 April, with more flights and capacity into ports such as Wewak, Goroka and Vanimo. We will also use the ATR to operate services into Buka and will begin operations to Kieta (Aropa), with links between those two ports.”
“As previously announced, we are working to launch services to Jayapura (Indonesia) which will open up a new international route to our closest neighbour. These are exciting and challenging times for the airline and PNG as a whole and we are committed to playing a key part in the economic and social development of the country,” added Mr Woo.
Asian Aviation - February 2016
Asian Aviation February 2016 describes ATRs expansion into the Asia Pacific region and how PNG Air is harnessing the flexibility of the ATR for the PNG market.
Australian Aviation - January/February 2016
The Australian Aviation’s January/February 2016 Turboprop Country feature details PNG Air’s introduction of ATRs to the PNG market and why the ATR provides the most versatile aircraft option for PNG.
Media Announcement - 04 December 2015
PNG Air announce services to Vanimo
PNG Air has today announced that commencing 9 December 2015 the airline will operate twice weekly services to Vanimo.
“As part of our network expansion and commitment to bring more services to the people of PNG we are pleased to announce Vanimo as the latest addition to our network,” said Paul Abbot Chief Commercial Officer of PNG Air.
“There has been increasing demands for the airline to serve Vanimo and we are now in a position to do that and provide the people of the region with an air travel alternative.”
“The service will be an extension of the very popular Lae/Madang/Wewak service and will operate into Vanimo on a Wednesday and Sunday and out of Vanimo on a Thursday and Monday. The outbound services will also offer excellent connections to our customers wishing to travel through to Kimbe and Kokopo,” Mr Abbot said.
Vanimo brings to 22 the total number of commercial ports served by PNG Air
Media Announcement - 18 November 2015
PNG Air supports PNG White Ribbon Appeal
PNG Air are pleased to support the PNG White Ribbon Appeal campaign to eliminate all forms of violence against women and children.
For more information please go to http://cfcpng.org/
Media Announcement - 5 November 2015
Why PNG Air chose the ATR 72-600
PNG Air is delighted to announce that the first of its brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft arrived in PNG and was officially launched on 4 November 2015. The airline will have 3 of these aircraft operating by the end of March 2016, 5 by the end of 2016 and 7 by the end of 2017.
This is the culmination of a lengthy project by the airline to choose the right aircraft for its operations and the travelling public into the future – the most important decision any airline has to make and the most vital to get right.
PNG Air chose the ATR 72-600 because it is the most modern turboprop aircraft for regional operations in PNG’s rugged conditions. The ATR is a proven success, coming from the world’s leading manufacturer in the 50 to 70 seat turboprop market.
The main strengths of the aircraft are its unbeatable operating costs, high reliability, versatility and passenger comfort. Added together, these factors made the ATR the clear choice for PNG Air.
The ATR is tailored for regional operations, with the ability to operate into runways that are short, unpaved and at altitude, while maintaining effective payloads and low fuel use.
From the passenger’s perspective, the ATR offers the widest cabin in the turboprop market, new seats, more baggage room and a greater feeling of space – plus the reliability to get you there on time and every time.
Below the surface, the ATR offers technology exceeding current technical, safety and maintenance requirements, and significantly enhancing operational safety.
In summary, the aircraft offers our customers efficiency, reliability and comfort. It is able to service more routes, across more of PNG, at the lowest operating cost. It offers versatile freight options. It fits neatly into the airline’s strategy to service regional markets effectively through lowering the cost of air travel.
“We are certain that the ATR is the best all round aircraft for PNG now available, and that it will continue to be the best during its operating life with us. Operating the best and newest aircraft in the market is an exciting move forward for PNG Air and for all domestic air travellers in PNG,” said Muralee Siva, PNG Air’s Chief Executive Officer in an address to the company’s staff.
Media Announcement - 5 November 2015
How did PNG Air choose its new name?
From 5 November 2015, Airlines PNG will operate as PNG Air.
“The introduction of the new ATR 72-600 aircraft not only gave the airline a huge boost in the quality of product it offers the people of PNG – it also offered the opportunity to make other changes to the airline, and prompted us to look closely at what we were doing now and what we needed to do in future,” said Muralee Siva, CEO of PNG Air.
“We recognise that to keep pace with the growing size and sophistication of the aviation market in PNG, we can’t just introduce a new aircraft and rely on that to do everything for us – we need to keep reinforcing the airline’s service culture through staff training and we also need to keep improving the product we offer the public,” said Mr Siva.
“Once we commit to that sort of change, it made sense for us to also introduce a new brand. A new brand provides a fresh beginning for a company undergoing significant change. For us, it represents the company’s bold plan for the future of regional aviation in PNG – to be the first choice regional airline for the people of Papua New Guinea. It also symbolises that we are not just doing the same old thing with the same old tools.”
Research in the market showed that the airline’s customers were looking for something more vibrant, bright and in keeping with the culture and people of PNG.
“The new name highlights our connection to PNG, and that we put PNG first. It also reflects that, through the majority shareholding of NasFund and MRDC, we are owned by a great many of the people of PNG,” said Mr Siva.
“The livery we’ve chosen acknowledges tradition, while positioning us as bold, fresh and next generation PNG. It creates a dynamic new look, fitting for a positive, confident PNG airline.”
“An airline’s name is one of its most important and recognisable assets. The new name and livery make PNG Air unique, and differentiate us from other airlines,” Mr Siva added.
Media Announcement - 5 November 2015
PNG Air’s training and staff development
The airline’s staff have always been PNG Air’s greatest strength, and are a real point of difference for the airline. Throughout the process of introducing the ATR 72-600 aircraft and developing the PNG Air brand all the staff have been heavily involved in planning, training and providing ideas.
Feedback from staff has been fundamental in deciding what the brand should represent, and the design of the new livery and uniforms. Staff have also suggested many ways of improving product and customer service standards.
“While new aircraft and a new brand are major steps forward for the airline, without our people they mean little and it is only through developing our staff, and their talent and enthusiasm, that we can get the maximum benefit from the new aircraft and brand, and further improve our product, service delivery and customer focus,” said Muralee Siva, CEO of PNG Air.
An extensive process of training for flight and maintenance crew to operate the ATR has been going on behind the scenes, with pilots, cabin crew and engineers training on the new aircraft across France, Singapore, Fiji and New Zealand.
Captain Adam Loughrey and Captain Raphael Kome were the first pilots to complete ATR training.
Captain Kome said “With the introduction of the ATR 72-600 comes a new chapter in performance, reliability and passenger comfort. We are all so proud to be part of this exciting development for our company and most importantly for those we serve every day”.
Captain Loughrey said “The training was both daunting and incredibly satisfying. It consisted of almost 6 weeks of intensive ground school and simulator training in Singapore before being sent to Fiji to actually fly the aircraft for a further 6-8 weeks of line orientated flight training”.
“The training in Fiji provided the hands on experience and exposure that we require before the introduction of the aircraft into PNG service this year.”
“For me personally, it’s been a tremendous privilege to play a small part in this exciting period for our company and for our loyal customers.”
Kapi Eria, PNG Air’s Cabin Crew Fleet Co-ordinator for the ATR, and Isaiah Tseraha, PNG Air Cabin Crew Manager, have been co-ordinating and conducting cabin crew training, and have undergone the training themselves.
Kapi Eria said “For our passengers the big benefit of the ATR is that it’s a larger aircraft than the Dash 8, so it’s more spacious, with more leg room and more cabin storage”.
“The larger aircraft also means having 2 cabin crew on board, making it easier for the cabin crew to serve passengers quickly, and also allows them to concentrate on solving any inflight issues that may arise. Passenger care will be more personalised because the cabin crew can monitor all sections simultaneously, leading to greater passenger comfort.”
“Having 2 cabin crew also gives benefits you might not think of – for example, pre-flight checks and inspections can be coordinated and done more efficiently, helping our on-time performance.”
Isaiah Tseraha said “The training we have had of course concentrates on the vital safety procedures for the aircraft, and operating its various systems, but we’ve also focussed on passenger service training. We want to be ‘people connecting people’ and that also means making connections with our passengers through our improved inflight service”.
“The arrival of the ATR has boosted our team spirit. The ATR training most certainly has raised crew morale and the hype and enthusiasm this has generated has already had a flow-on positive change for cabin crew currently operating our Dash 8 services. We are ready to ensure our passengers experience the best!”
Muralee Siva said “With our staff right behind the move, and enthusiastically learning new skills and to operate the new aircraft, we are making sure we do everything to ensure the best possible experience for the people travelling on the new aircraft, so this will be a major step forward for the airline and for aviation in PNG”.
Media Announcement - 5 November 2015
The story behind the PNG Air brand
Airlines PNG engaged the highly respected Sydney based brand developers Principals to help with the airline’s rebranding. PNG expertise was provided by Andrew Johnston and the team at PVM Advertising who were heavily involved across the entire process.
From the outset, the philosophy was that the brand had to do at least two things – make the airline stand out from its competitors, and do that on the basis of the airline’s “story” – the things that make it different.
The airline wanted the new name and visual identity to reinforce that it is a company proudly owned and run by the people of PNG while positioning it for its planned future operating all new aircraft and providing industry-leading customer service.
The brand needed to be more colourful and vibrant, reflecting the personality of the company and its people, making it stand out from competitors and easier to recognise and remember.
“Ultimately the name and brand needed to fit our vision that we are PNG’s Next Generation Airline – the airline of choice for the dynamic next generation of Papua New Guineans – and symbolise that while we transform our fleet, we’re also transforming the way we do business and the services we offer,” said Paul Abbot, PNG Air’s Chief Commercial Officer.
“Our underlying promise to customers is that we are People Connecting People.”
“Put simply this reflects that we are as much a people company as an airline – we are people who connect people. We bring people together by offering more connections to more places in PNG than any other airline. Our reason for existence is to provide those vital connections,” Mr Abbot added.“To be consistent with how we see ourselves and how we want to be seen our brand has to look modern but also offer a new interpretation of PNG, while stressing our role in connecting people.”
“We originally looked at using a single device to represent the new airline, but no single image really captured what we were trying to say. We therefore decided to break with tradition and instead selected icons from around the country – showing that we are for all the people and regions of the country. People from all over PNG can connect with the design as they see elements from their region,” explained Mr Abbot.
“The design is unique and differentiates the airline from other airlines. It represents PNG in a new way and stresses the PNG Air connection with the country. And while it acknowledges tradition, it also shows the airline as bold, fresh, and next generation PNG.”
The new design, colours and name were decided after an exhaustive process which included focus group discussions with a wide range of people, and a progressive refining of the original concept. The brand is not like anything PNG has seen before.
“Like us, the brand is a clear indication of the possibilities presented by next generation PNG, and we are very proud of it,” said Mr Abbot.
Media Announcement - 5 November 2015
PNG Air – a new airline for a new PNG
With a population that’s spread across islands, mountains, rivers and jungles, the airline industry is critical in connecting all the diverse parts of PNG. Aviation is vital to the people of PNG, whether they are travelling for business, family, friendship or recreation.
The geography that makes PNG so unique also makes it one of the world’s most difficult environments for aviation, heightening the need for PNG to have a modern, dynamic, and cutting-edge airline.
All of this makes launching a new airline – a difficult enough task anywhere – particularly challenging in PNG. Despite that, it’s a challenge the team at PNG Air have wholeheartedly taken on as they seek to become the fresh face of aviation in PNG.
The company’s board and management first created the vision for PNG Air in 2013. From the beginning, it was all about creating greater connections for all Papua New Guineans. Rather than simply focusing on the lucrative resources sector, PNG Air wants to serve people across PNG.
“PNG Air is all about people and that will be reflected in everything we do. We are committed to creating more opportunities for people to travel, making it easier to book and pay for your travel and improving our service” said Muralee Siva, CEO of PNG Air, explaining the role of the airline in PNG’s future.
The process of launching the new airline started with the realisation that the success of the company would go hand in hand with its success in enriching the lives of the people of PNG.
“We started a strategic planning process two years ago. We identified that there were three key aspects of the business that we wanted to change in order to improve our performance – ownership, the aircraft and the brand name,” Mr Siva said.
Bringing PNG Air into majority ownership by the MRDC Group and NasFund, who between them represent a large part of the country’s population, was a critical step in sharpening the focus on serving the domestic market. It was also the catalyst for a change in the management structure, with the introduction under Mr Siva of a stronger, more capable team.
An airline can only be as good as its fleet. It’s for this reason that PNG Air has invested heavily in the best aircraft for PNG’s difficult conditions.
As the aircraft best suited to both PNG’s environment and the company’s vision for its future, the flexible, class-leading ATR 72-600 aircraft was chosen to be the core of PNG Air’s new fleet. The newest aircraft in PNG, the ATR will efficiently connect Papua New Guinea, operating not just to the main cities but to smaller ports that alternative aircraft cannot fly to.
PNG Air sees this as opening up new opportunities, and a brighter future for all Papua New Guineans.
“We wanted to ensure that the aircraft we chose was capable of serving the needs of the county for the medium to long term. It had to have sufficient seating capacity, flexibility to carry passengers and freight and the ability to operate into unsealed, high and short runways. The ATR ticked all the boxes and offers us a long term solution that will meet the needs of the market well into the future,” Mr Siva said.
The idea of connection and unity comes through strongly in both the airline’s new name and in the livery design chosen to represent the new airline.
The first step was creating a name that spoke to everyone in Papua New Guinea. After an exhaustive selection process, PNG Air was chosen because of its strong link to the nation and the airline’s business strategy.
When asked what the new name means for the airline and for PNG, Mr Siva immediately responds “It means we put PNG first. We value the important role we play in the country as an airline. It reflects that we don’t take that responsibility lightly”.
The airline’s new logo and livery reinforces the strong connection to PNG. The many faces of PNG can be seen in the individual symbols. A bold and modern interpretation of traditional PNG design, the new logo positions PNG Air as the fresh, dynamic, next generation airline it seeks to be.
“The challenge was always going to be in finding a symbol which captured the diversity of this country. Our solution was to embrace that diversity and celebrate it by incorporating many key icons into one unifying design,” Mr Siva said.
Asked if he’s proud of the new PNG Air, Mr Siva is unequivocal “Absolutely! PNG Air is the result of the hard work our fantastic employees have put in over the years. It’s a new beginning, which has been built on the strong foundations of the past. Our passengers, owners and staff deserve the very best, and we have started the exciting journey toward being the best airline in PNG”.