Passengers query cancellation of flights

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Source:
The National, Friday July 15th, 2016

 By PHOEBE GWANGILO 
AIR Niugini passengers have questioned the increasing number of flights being cancelled and rescheduled.
“It’s highly suspicious for Air Niugini to have a number of flights cancelled and yet could not explain to us,” Pius Taiboa, who was supposed to travel to Buka yesterday, told The National.
He said the flight was rescheduled for today.
Taiboa said the announcement was made an hour after he checked in. He then enquired about accommodation for stranded passengers but was turned down.
“I asked who is going to pay for my accommodation and they said if you stay in a hotel, you will have to provide a checkout receipt so that Air Nuigini will pay for your accommodation,” he said.
“As far as I am concerned, that’s wrong regardless of whether I stay with a friend or I stay in a hotel, Air Nuigini should meet my accommodation tonight.
“Even those travelling to Manus are still waiting since Monday.”
Transit passengers said Air Niugini should have had the courtesy to inform them so that they could consider not travelling until the service was back to normal.
A passenger from a chartered plane arrived in Port Moresby to transit to Gurney, Milne Bay, was frustrated to learn of the cancellation.
Billy Cadigan told The National that he did not know his next flight and was unhappy that accommodation could not be provided by the airline.
“I asked the customer service and they said they are not sure. They are getting the flights to main centres only,” he said.
He said Air Niugini had a good reputation but the current situation was a disservice to its customers.
Some East Sepik students who were supposed to travel to Wewak on Wednesday encountered similar problems.
Air Niugini said in a media statement yesterday that due to “technical crewing issues” a number of flights were disrupted, which would be rescheduled over the next few days to uplift affected passengers.
“Given the crewing predicament, we are currently facing, flights are being rescheduled which may cause some delays and disruptions and every efforts is focused on providing ongoing air services to our passengers,” chief executive officer Simon Foo said.
“Management and staff of Air Niugini are doing their utmost to ease the inconvenience to the passengers throughout the network.”
He said the airline’s international services were operating as scheduled.