Kimbe and Kokopo added to APNG network

Business, Normal

The National, Monday, June 6th 2011

THE New Guinea Islands region is set to benefit from Airlines PNG’s (APNG) network  expansion.
Kimbe and Kokopo are the next centres in the latest investments for the airline company.
APNG will introduce a new four times per week schedule connecting Lae, Kimbe and Kokopo as of June 21.
The schedule will operate Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and will provide greater frequency and capacity than is currently offered.
Connections through to other ports will also ensure a more convenient and customer focused product for travellers.
“Airlines PNG believes that PNG’s geography and commercial centres demand a greater focus on the Lae region as a hub and consequently we have built a schedule based on that,”  chief executive officer Gary Toomey said.
“Not only does this offer a greatly improved service out of Lae but it allows us to build a strong and consistent schedule to other parts which link into Lae.
“As a scheduled service operator, this is our first entry into the Islands region and we look forward to partnering local businesses to develop their capability and infrastructure,” Toomey said.
This development followed last week’s announcement of APNG’s new schedule featuring:
. A daily service from Lae to Madang;
. More direct services from Port Moresby and Kiunga and Daru;
.Increased frequencies between Port Moresby to Mt Hagen; and
.Improved services from Lae to Tabubil through Mt Hagen.
Airlines PNG growth has been built on very strong results as the nation’s premier charter operator for the resource and mining sector plus a growing and competitive scheduled transport operator.
Meanwhile, APNG last week, welcomed a new addition to the fleet with the arrival of its eagerly awaited De Havilland DHC 8-100 (Dash 8) aircraft from Canada.
After a ferry flight lasting more than 37 hours which took the aircraft through Canada, USA, Russia, Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines and Indonesia, the aircraft  touched down at its new Port Moresby home late last Monday.
The aircraft has now entered a two-week engineering programme to standardise it in line with the rest of the APNG Dash 8 fleet . 
APNG said the programme involved realigning the aircraft maintenance to the APNG in-house maintenance system and installing the in-flight entertainment system, global navigation system, high frequency radio and other aircraft safety systems.