Both airlines of Papua New Guinea, Air Niugini and Air PNG have resumed normal domestic operations as the fuel supplier restored all daily fuel requirements.
Air Niugini & Air PNG operations down
Both national airlines were forced to operate limited number of flights because of an issue with their fuel supplier. Puma Energy PNG is the agency, which supply fuel to both the airlines.
In January this year, Domestic flight operations came to halt in Papua New Guinea because the main fuel supplier was facing currency issues. Puma Energy PNG, the fuel supplier released a statement saying that it will be restricting fuel supply due to shortage of US dollars.
Puma Energy can only purchase oil using the US dollars, which is then processed into fuel in the country.
On January 5, Air Niugini cancelled all domestic flights. However, within a day, the airline restored the flights.
Operating with reduced schedule
Air Niugini Chief Executive Officer Gary Seddon said that the airline had no other choice than operating lower number of scheduled flights. As soon as Pume energy announced aviation fuel supply rationing, the airline was forced to reduce its capacity. This decision impacted many passengers. Seddon expressed disappointment on the impact this rationing has caused to the passenger but the airline had no choice.
Puma Energy lifted its fuel restrictions on July 22. Next day onwards, PNG Air returned to normal operations.
Seddon said that the airline is relieved that normal flight operations have resumed. But the situation was beyong our control. I hope our customers understand that. We sincerely hope this issue can now be resolved permanently, for benefit of all concerned.
He thanked all the staff of Air Niugini, who worked diligently and professionally in tough times.
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Source : Post Courier