Stop fuel supply notice to affect PNG Air flight

Photo: PNG Air

The stop fuel supply notice by Puma Energy has now posed an imposition to business and communities traveling on the PNG Air Network.

PNG Air in a statement said that under the circumstances PNG Air has assessed that the integrity of their current schedule will be challenged.

“We are reviewing our schedules and fuel availability continually and scheduling decisions will be driven by operational safety.

During this time PNG Air will not be responsible for accommodating disrupted passengers as limited fuel allocation throughout the network places safety constraints on the operations of our aircraft. Delays and or cancelled flights due to fuel restrictions and or weather are possible.

These decisions if made will be in the best interest of passengers,” PNG Air stated.

The airline said that as it stands, they will be working with other fuel suppliers to source fuel to maintain integrity of its current schedule, however this may be an additional cost to the airline.

PNG Air said that their call center team will be in contact with customers who have purchased tickets for onwards travel who could be affected by this announcement.

Meanwhile, Puma Energy PNG is taking steps to reduce the size of its operations and fuel supply proportionate to the capacity of its remaining banking channels.

As part of this process, Puma Energy, has begun to issue termination notices to customers and will aim to renegotiate contracts with new terms for lower volumes.

In the meantime, remaining fuel stock in PNG will be allocated to emergency services and critical infrastructure as a priority until a long-term, viable solution can be put in place to return the business to its full scale.

Puma Energy’s decision to reduce its business in PNG comes after careful consideration and extensive engagement with various government stakeholders, including the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) to find a long-term and sustainable banking solution.

Chairman and country manager Hulala Tokome said: “We have exhausted all currently available avenues to maintain the full scale of our operations.

We will also need to suspend our previously planned US$150 million growth investment programme.

“Given the imminent fuel shortages that will inevitably result from the reduction of our operations, we once again urge the government to form a task force with the utmost urgency to ensure the country can continue to be supplied with fuel and to minimise the impact on communities and the economy.

“Despite Puma Energy’s reduced business, we remain committed to PNG and will continue to work with various government entities to find both long-term and short-term solutions.

“Since 2014 Puma Energy has been a committed partner in PNG, investing significantly in its operations to improve energy security, affordability and access across the country.

“The company employs more than 500 skilled workers and created more than 2500 indirect jobs in PNG through its supply chain.

“The Puma Energy Group works with over 50 banks around the world to support its operations across more than 30 countries worldwide. These banks include some of the most stringent and globally recognised financial institutions,” he said.