This statement was made to correct many misconceptions by the general public.
ANG’s inbound international flights only airlift cargo, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other associated medical equipment as so directed by the Government.
“We are not carrying passengers on inbound flights unless they are part of the Government’s efforts and are medical and critical personnel to tackle the coronavirus issues,” stated the airline.
The airline’s General Manager for Cargo, Gus Kraus, said Air Niugini has been operating the Boeing 767 to bring in essential medical supplies and other associated medical equipment as well as much needed food supplies to keep the economy going.
“We are abiding by the national government’s directive by only airlifting cargo. For the last three weeks, we have airlifted more than 30 tons of cargo including PPEs, face masks, hand sanitisers, thermometer temperature guns, other essential medicines and medical supplies as well as goods and basic food supplies that are required to keep the country going.”
Air Niugini has ceased all international flights with limited operations to Cairns, Brisbane and Singapore. The inbound flights from these three destinations only bring in freight which are classed as essential to the economy and according to International Air Transport Association (IATA), has no bearing or classification to be infectious nor generally a concern to any country importing such items.
“Although there is an impact on the high costs of operating these continuous freight services in and out of PNG without passengers, as a responsible corporate citizen, Air Niugini is playing its part to assist the government in this ever evolving matter of the coronavirus,” Kraus stated.
“We are keen to continue working with the government to ensure due diligence and that we abide by the Government’s directives.”
(ANG’s B767 has so far uplifted 30 tons of cargo, including medical supplies, since the lockdown)