Papua New Guinea’s National Airline Cancels Half Its Domestic Flights Due To Lack Of Fuel

Via Golden Rule Travel, the national airline of Papua New Guinea has cancelled half of its domestic flights for the foreseeable future do to lack of jet fuel. International flgihts will continue to be fueled.

According to the airline,

[D]ue to an ongoing despite between Puma Energy and the [Central Bank of Papua New Guinea], Puma has decided to restrict the supply of fuel to Air Niugini and all other airlines effective today…Unfortunately there is no alternative supplier of aviation fuel in most airports, including Port Moresby.

Air Niugini stresses that they are “completely up to date with [their] payments to PUMA Energy.” However it appears that Puma – like many companies operating in Papua New Guinea – has been unable to exchange their local currency for foreign reserves.

The national carrier, based in Port Moresby, flies throughout the Asia Pacific region as well as two a couple of dozen destinations domestically. They once had a single Boeing 787-8 on order, but currently operate a Boeing 737, 2 Boeing 767s, Fokker 70 and 100 aircraft as well as Bombardier Q300 and Q400s. They have an outstanding order for four Boeing 737 MAX 8s.

Papua New Guinea is a Commonwealth realm, a sovereign state (which gained independence from Australia in 1975) that retains a British royal monarch, similar to Canada, Australia, the Bahamas, St. Kitts and Tuvalu. Their capital, Port Moresby, is about 500 miles North of Cairns in North Queensland, Australia. Papua New Guinea gave up the BWI airport code so that Baltimore airport could use it, in exchange for the right for Air Niugini to fly to Honolulu – something the carrier no longer does.

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