The National, Thursday 11th April, 2013
By GYNNIE KERO
AIRLINES PNG will continue to sell tickets in its own name for flights operated by Virgin Australia for the route linking Port Moresby and Brisbane.
According to regular passenger transport service manager Paul Abbot, APNG will still be able to sell tickets for seats on Virgin Australia’s flights until the code share agreement is renewed.
He said this when APNG announced yesterday that the code share agreement with Virgin Australia on the Port Moresby to Brisbane route will not be renewed when the current agreement expires on April 13.
A codeshare agreement is an agreement under which one airline is able to sell tickets in its own name for flights operated by a different airline.
APNG says the agreement was not renewed because Airlines PNG and Virgin Australia were not able to agree to terms for the renewal acceptable to both of them.
Chief executive officer Muralee Siva said: “As part of our ongoing business review we have elected not to renew this agreement but instead will be directing all our focus onto the consolidation and further development of our domestic operations.
“In the first half of this year, we will be bringing two new aircraft into domestic service and are directing a great deal of time and effort into revising our schedules and bringing our on-time performance up to the international benchmark of 85%.”
Siva said over the first quarter of 2013, APNG has taken the figure over 78% – a significant achievement given the challenging operating conditions in PNG.
“We believe these initiatives will have great benefits for the people of PNG and that our time is better spent here,” he said.
Virgin Australia will continue to operate the route linking Australia and PNG with Airlines PNG maintaining sales links in order to maintain continuity of service for customers.
Passengers who hold bookings with Airlines PNG for travel after April 13 will have their bookings transferred to Virgin Australia for the same date of travel. There will be no disruption to their travel plans.