Air Niugini’s boeing 767 fleet back in service, domestic flights cancelled

Photo: Air Niugini

Air Niugini’s wide body Boeing 767 fleet are back in service, says acting chief executive officer Gary Seddon. 

“I would like to thank our valued customers for their patience and understanding as we worked through this challenging period,” he said.

“I would also like to thank the dedicated men and women of Air Niugini, who have all contributed across the company, whilst we dealt with this unscheduled maintenance requirement.”

Air Niugini had both widebody aircraft grounded for unscheduled maintenance in June and earlier this month.

One aircraft, P2-PXV (Victor) required an engine cowling replacement. And the other, P2-PXW (Whiskey) required a whole engine change.

The change of an engine is a major undertaking and testing was thorough before the aircraft was released back in to service.

He said Whiskey would return to service today after all maintenance works and extensive testing were completed in Brisbane, Australia.

“Air Niugini’s Boeing 767 fleet are the backbone of the international schedule, carrying passengers and freight safely, comfortably and effectively between Port Moresby and Singapore, Hong Kong, Brisbane and Palau.”

Air Niugini recently signed orders to introduce the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as the future widebody aircraft to deliver and expand medium to long haul elements of its international schedule.  

“Though we are excited about our future, we are equally excited about finally restoring our fleet to its full capacity,” Seddon said.

Meanwhile, Air Niugini announced on Thursday the cancellation of its domestic flights until further notice due to jet fuel restrictions by Puma Energy.

In January, Air Niugini made the same call citing that Puma Energy had difficulty accessing U.S. dollars

Air Niugini affirmed that international flights will not be affected.

“We hope that our customers and partners appreciate, the situation imposed by Puma Energy is beyond the control of Air Niugini.

“Our primary concern remains the safety and well-being of our customers and crew, and the decision to cancel flights has been taken to ensure that safety standards are upheld considering the fuel supply constraints.

“The airline is actively engaging in discussions with Puma Energy and other relevant stakeholders to urgently address the fuel supply issues and find a swift resolution. We understand the significance of air connectivity for Papua New Guinea and are committed to resuming full operations as soon as possible,” it said in a statement.