Airline suffering: Muthuvel


THE national flag carrier Air Niugini is suffering as financial impacts of coronavirus worsens, State Enterprises Minister Sasindran Muthuvel says.
Muthuvel in a statement said the international coronavirus crisis was continuing to have severe impacts on the airline, along with the rest of the business community.
“The impact it is having on our airline is also being felt right across the economy, including sectors such as tourism, hospitality and retail,” he said.
“I am extremely concerned and saddened at the difficulties being experienced, especially in the case of Air Niugini.”
Muthuvel said its revenue had suffered from measures taken internationally to lessen the impact of the pandemic, and from its own responses to protect the health of Papua New Guineans, including cutting some international flight schedules.
“The airline had taken drastic action to reduce international flights to and from high-risk ports, and continues to comply with strict precautionary measures while processing international passengers.
“This is consistent with the Government’s commitment to put the protection of Papua New Guineans ahead of all other considerations,” he said.
“At the same time as its revenue is declining, Air Niugini is taking every step necessary to ensure that as many domestic flights are available as possible as well as ensuring protection of domestic services remains a priority.”
Muthuvel said his ministry and Kumul Consolidated Holdings Ltd were considering giving Air Niugini a cash injection of K12 million a month to make up for its loss.