Air Niugini updates on runway incident

    Air Niugini chairman Kostas Constantinou commented (30-Sep-2018) on the safe evacuation of passengers and crew on board an Air Niugini Boeing 737-800 aircraft (P2-PXE), which landed short of the runway and on a lagoon on 28-Sep-2018 in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia. Early reports indicate very poor visibility at the time due to bad weather, and the aircraft came to rest in the water 145m from the runway. Sir Kostas said: “The 35 passengers and 12 crew were able to evacuate the aircraft, and local boats and some United States Navy divers were close to the scene and came quickly to the rescue before the aircraft sank”. He however noted that the carrier has subsequently learned that “one of the passengers on the flight was, and still is, unaccounted for”. Sir Kostas continued: “Subsequently however, an inspection of the entire submerged cabin of the aircraft by the US Navy seals, further corroborated by other eye witness reports who saw the passenger board one of the dinghies on Friday, has confirmed that all passengers safely evacuated the aircraft at the time of the accident. Local authorities and the airline are continuing to search for the whereabouts of the missing passenger”.