AIR Niugini, PNG Air and some third-level airlines are likely to be facing bankruptcy over the next 12 months, says People’s National Congress Party deputy leader Richard Maru.
Maru said this would happen unless significant cost-cutting measures were implemented soon and the Government came to their rescue.
Two weeks ago, Minister for State Enterprises Sasindran Muthuvel proposed the Government provide a relief package of K300 million for Air Niugini.
The minister said the airline was facing liquidity issues and was in dire need for more capital injection and support to mitigate the economic slowdown.
Maru claimed that at this time when Air Niugini desperately needs a K300 million bailout, the Government appeared to be facilitating a deal for Air Niugini to buy out Nasfund shares in PNG Air.
This was when PNG Air is about to go bankrupt and Air Niugini will likely take over existing routes, he added.
“To any independent observer, this proposed transaction appears highly suspicious, makes no business sense and is perceived as a potentially corrupt deal by people with vested corporate interests,” he said.
“Concerns are being raised as to whether there is any validity in these claims of conflict of interest for decision makers at Air Niugini in relation to their private business interests as well as partnerships with Nasfund.
“The question should be asked why is this purchase just for shares held by Nasfund and not shares held by other investors such as Mineral Resources Development Company.”