View Full Version : PNG airline to raise fares 20 per cent

25th Nov 2002, 02:31

PNG airline to raise fares 20 per cent
November 25 2002

Papua New Guinea's government airline Air Niugini is to increase fares by up to 20 per cent before Christmas.

The major hikes are expected to have a devastating impact on the impoverished nation of five million.

Air Niugini said international airfares will rise by 20 per cent on December 2, while domestic airfares will increase by 17 per cent on November 28.

The major hikes follow a 7.5 per cent increase in August as PNG's currency started to slide.

The hikes push the cost of a return economy ticket between Sydney and Port Moresby to more than 3,400 kina ($A1,200).

An average shop assistant earns just 40 cents per hour.

Commentators said the increases would prompt "uproar" if proposed in a wealthy country such as Australia, let alone in PNG.

"For it to occur in Papua New Guinea, already brought to its knees by horrendous exchange rates and a pitiably unrealistic wage structure, is bluntly unacceptable," The National newspaper said in its editorial.

In years gone by the average Papua New Guinean working in the city has been able to afford a trip home to the village every two years.

"But in today's desperate economic climate, few families can afford to put enough food on the table, let alone fly," the newspaper said.

Government hopes of selling off the troubled airline were dashed last year for lack of interest.

The government still hopes to sell the airline and allow it to buy newer aircraft and more spare parts.

Recent falls by the kina have dramatically increased the cost of living in PNG.

A balance of payments crisis is expected within months.


25th Nov 2002, 05:00
A PNG friend of mine seriously suggests/hopes that Australia will take over.

As he is a History teacher, I said that much could be gained from declaring war on the USA and letting them rebuild the place. (wasn't there an old film with a similar story?).

No doubt this will have an effect on the employment of our flying brothers in PNG.

Chimbu chuckles
27th Nov 2002, 00:09
The problem is the PNG 'Government' severely controls prices to delay 'voter' backlash long enough to cream off max mulah.

Instead of allowing small annual increments that would be less noticeable to the general public they constantly meddle and restrict PXs, and all the rest of the companies in PNgs ability to be profitable, until a huge price rise is the only way to not go broke in the next 30 seconds

Even basic foodstuffs like the price of tinned fish is restricted in a like manner.

In fact the entire PNG economy is essentially broke(n) but the Govt refuses to acknowledge what needs to be done...preferring to bury the heads in the beetlenut pile.

Very sad indeed.


9th Dec 2002, 10:23
One would have to wonder why the average bro or sister would care about flying to Sydney or the cost.

Sure internal fares are of interest. But with the decline of the value of the Kina in recent times I would have thought these price rises quite modest.

Perhaps the cost of expatriate forced safety regulation is prohibitive to the profitability of the airline.

I have heard that this obstacle is being overcome by appointing a more sympathetic local citizen to the head of safety, not to mention other key positions.

Good luck to PX and all who sail in her.