PM confirms govt’s K60mil debt to national airline paid


Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the Government paid its outstanding debt of K60 million to Air Niugini a few weeks ago.
O’Neill was responding to East Sepik Governor Allan Bird’s question on the outstanding debts of about K70 million.
“The government’s obligation to Air Niugini is met on a timely basis so that the cash flow position over the airline is improved,” O’Neill said.
He said some tough decisions had to be made to save the airline.
“That is why we need to take these hard decisions that we are doing today.” He said costs of fuel costs, spare parts, servicing and engineering were being paid in US dollars.
“We are now bringing all those services back into the country.”
O’Neill said the board was given specific direction to cut the foreign destinations “we are making losses in” to save money.
He said Bank of South Pacific was one of the financiers of Air Niugini.
“Without BSP’s support for Air Niugini, there would not be airline,” O’Neill said.
“Let’s continue to work with the institutions in our country so we keep our money and expertise in the country and do the capacity building like engineering so we can improve the services for our people,” he said.

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