February 17, 2020
Air Niugini putting people first in fight against coronavirus
The Minister for State Enterprises, Mr Sasindran Muthuvel, today reassured the public that Air Niugini is taking all necessary steps to protect Papua New Guinea against the spread of coronavirus.
“The airline has instituted a wide range of measures to minimise the risk to the nation, and is constantly monitoring international developments to make sure its precautions are up to date and effective,” he said.
“The Department of State Enterprises, Kumul Consolidated Holdings and Air Niugini are liaising with other departments and agencies in the Marape Government’s fight against coronavirus (the key agency is the National Department of Health).
“This is a whole-of-Government exercise, and we are sparing no effort or expense to ensure the safety of Papua New Guineans.”
While the Government is trying to protect the commercial interests of Air Niugini, public safety is the paramount consideration. The cessation or limitation of some flights and compliance with other international action is all part of putting people first, he said.
“The Marape Government, KCH and Air Niugini will not compromise public, passenger and employee safety,” Minister Muthuvel said.
Air Niugini managing director Alan Milne said the airline is constantly in touch with other national agencies, and is continuously carrying out its own risk assessments to protect passengers and staff.
“If unacceptable risks are identified, we will immediately take the necessary action,” he said. “We are also monitoring international requirements, which are often difficult and complex, and if necessary Air Niugini will modify its procedures accordingly to ensure compliance.
“Air Niugini will continue to be vigilant in the interest of public safety.”
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