14 Aug 2008

Air Niugini slated by President of Chamber of Commerce

10:35 am on 14 August 2008

Port Moresby's Chamber of Commerce says Papua New Guinea should allow open air travel because the national airline, Air Niugini, is inefficient.

It is backing criticism by the tourism minister who says the airline is an impediment to the country's tourism development.

Air Niugini operates a domestic network from Port Moresby and Lae, as well as an international service to Asian and Australian destinations.

The chamber's president, Ken Dunn, says on average one out of three flights is delayed or cancelled, while the airline's service is substandard.

Mr Dunn says this is hampering business activities and must change.

"The option for PNG as far as air travel is concerned is to bring some more competition in. That's the only way that's going to improve Air Niugini. They are a government owned and run institution and they have a public service mentality as far as the operations are concerned, they are just not efficient."