Air Niugini chairman Frederick Reihe, via the carrier’s Jul/Aug-2017 inflight magazine, provided (Jul-2017) updates on three key management focus areas:
- Fleet: Air Niugini has now taken delivery of all nine Fokker 70 (F70) aircraft, acquired from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. They will be fully in service in the coming months when branding, refurbishing and installation of WiFi are completed. The refurbishing includes the installation of customised business class seating. Since the airline began the introduction of the F70 aircraft just over 18 months ago, the “response from passengers has been very positive”, with Sir Frederick adding: “The positive response matches our own assessment of the aircraft for fuel efficiency and other key factors that were influential when the management and the board decided to make the introduction of the F70 the key component of the largest fleet upgrading in Air Niugini’s history”. The F70 will become the ‘work horse’ of the airline’s main domestic services and regional services in the Pacific region;
- Sabre switch: Air Niugini is focusing on is the progressive switch to the Sabre Solutions Passenger Service System (PSS). The changeover will take effect from 01-Oct-2017. Sir Frederick noted: “I am delighted the change is happening very smoothly and will be delivered on schedule. It will also deliver some important cost savings for Air Niugini at a time when we are focusing on reducing costs that don’t compromise safety or service”. Air Niugini will conduct an extensive marketing and information campaign highlighting the modern and extended online services we will offer when Sabre is fully implemented;
- Shanghai service: The carrier plans to launch commercial services to Shanghai in Dec-2017 with Sir Frederick stating: “Having successfully introduced regular services to the Federated States of Micronesia, and Townsville in North Queensland, the direct service to China is our next priority. Our team will be seeking to work closely with the Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA), the travel industry and business to ensure the introduction of this service is successful”. Air Niugini and the TPA will host a series of ‘China Ready’ workshops in the coming months to prepare commercial partners, and other customers, for the new direct services.