Air Niugini flies to Bulolo

Lae News, Normal

The National, Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NATIONAL flag carrier Air Niugini has extended its services to the small mining town of Bulolo in Morobe, to cater for the growing population and businesses in the area.
It will compete on the route with third level airline, Airlines PNG, which has been operating in and out of Bulolo for the past three years.
More than 1,000 locals including subsistence farmers, alluvial gold miners, company employees and executives, small to medium time businessmen, women and children, watched as the wheels of Air Niugini’s Dash 8 , P2- ANZ, touched down at 4.09pm on its inaugural flight there on Monday.
People clapped and shouted as they crammed the fences surrounding the terminal area while a fire brigade team from PNG Forest Products hosed down the plane as it taxied in to the terminal area.
Bulolo MP Sam Basil stepped down from the plane and onto the turf of his electorate for the first time as the new deputy opposition leader.
He was accompanied by Air Niugini chief executive officer Wasanta Kumarasiri, senior Air Niugini technical officers and media personnel.
Three singing groups, from Garaina, Menyamya and a flute group from Mumeng led the visitors to the grand stand where they were entertained by the Sisima theatre group.   
Kumarasiri said Air Niugini, Basil and the government had been talking for sometime about bringing the service to Bulolo.
“Air Niugini was eager to stretch its network service to Bulolo and I am pleased that we were given the nod and this inaugural flight is the proof of it,” he said.
He said it was the duty of the airline to bring services to as many communities as possible.
He thanked the government, Basil and Minister for State Enterprises Arthur Somare for making the Bulolo service network possible.
Basil said the service was a milestone for his district and thanked companies operating in the area like Morobe Mining Joint Ventures (MMJV), PNG Forest Products and other stakeholders who use the air services into Bulolo, for contributing their efforts in bringing Air Niugini services there. 
He said the Bulolo district administration, through the joint district planning and budget priorities committee would build an office Air Niugini would rent.
Kumarasiri said Air Niugini would make two flights a week into Bulolo.
The first flight departs Port Moresby at 2pm on Mondays  and the other at 7am on Fridays.