Air Niugini has cancelled domestic flights indefinitely, citing the suspension of fuel supply by Puma Energy within Papua New Guinea. Hundreds of holiday-makers who travelled to other provinces during the Christmas period may be stranded as a result.
In a statement, Air Niugini says Puma Energy is having difficulty accessing U.S. dollars and is not supplying Jet A1 fuel
“Unfortunately there is no alternative supplier of aviation fuel in most airports, including Port Moresby,” the airline says.
Air Niugini continues, “We have done everything possible to ensure that this situation did not occur and that we could continue to support the people of Papua New Guinea especially as they return from their Christmas holidays.
“The airline can assure all our customers that we are completely up to date with our payments to Puma Energy and this regrettable situation is 100% outside the control of Air Niugini.”
PNG’s Post Courier newspaper quotes Puma Energy country general manager, Hulala Tokome as saying the company was placed in an unfortunate situation and had little choice but to suspend its fuel operations.
Minister for Civil Aviation, Walter Schnaubeit says while the problem is outside his immediate responsibility, he’s concerned about the impact on holiday travellers but is sure an amicable solution will be found to the saga.