The national flag carrier, Air Niugini, has achieved its best ever “On Time Performance” (OTP) over the last four weeks in May, the Chairman of Air Niugini, Sir Frederick Reiher, has announced.
Sir Frederick said the average OTP for the month of May was 91 per cent, not just the best ever for Air Niugini, but higher than all airlines in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region.
“Even more impressive is the fact that Air Niugini has achieved 100 per cent OTP on 7 days in the same four weeks period,” Sir Frederick said.
“As Chairman, and on behalf of the Board, I am proud of this real milestone in the history of our national flag carrier,” Sir Frederick said.
“I give full credit to our management team, and all our employees, for delivering the best OTP outcome in our history.”
“Several months ago we experienced a series of issues, requiring the cancellation and amalgamation of some services, principally brought about by a shortage of pilots for our Fokker aircraft fleet in particular.”
“We were not alone in experiencing pilot shortages. Qantas, Virgin, and other airlines in our region experienced the same problem, and it continues to be a challenge for all airlines as the international demand for jet aircraft pilots remains very high,” Sir Frederick said.
“As a result of our own shortage, we took immediate steps to recruit and train more pilots, and make changes to our schedules without reducing the effectiveness of the service to the people of Papua New Guinea,” he said.
“This has been an outstanding effort by our whole team. The challenge now is to maintain it and that will be the focus of the board and management, and the airline’s 2,100 employees.”
Sir Frederick said that given the particular challenges with aircraft flying in Papua New Guinea – rugged terrain and remote areas that are served – an average OTP of 91 per cent is exceptional.
“I know our valued passengers appreciate the improved service we are offering across the nation. It is our commitment and determination to maintain and build on it!” Sir Frederick said.