AIR NIUGINI IS BROKE
AIR Niugini is bankrupt and the State Enterprises Minister knows it. He has been calling on management reform for years and despite the revolving door at the top, they continue to fail.
Worldwide the airline industry is destroyed.
Highly profitable airlines around the world continue to file for bankruptcy protection and contract their operations out with thousands being terminated daily.
These are the realities of all airlines worldwide yet the national airline of Papua New Guinea – owned by the government cannot understand this.
Air Niugini is struggling to live as a dinosaur.
Its business model has turned its back on the people of PNG to ensure the flag is flown overseas.
Now that the international market has been taken away from them, they are seeking to get back to their forgotten customers.
Air Niugini may have been successful in the economy of the 1980s.Look for countries who have 100 per cent ownership in their airlines.
Have a look at some of the bailout packages required to keep these airlines afloat.
Where is our government finding money to support this dinosaur when they can’t even provide basic health care, schools, roads and sanitation for its people?
Air Niugini is dying.
The closure of the Brisbane sales office for an indefinite period, grounding of aircraft during the Covid-19 highlights the loss of income stream.
But still pilots and cabin crew on selected fleets remain on full pay.
How about the management?
Are they all collecting full pay cheques whilst many of their employees are struggling to feed themselves?
That airline is a charity and without serious management strengths, will never walk the earth again.
As they have now turned back to the domestic market they neglected for years, they have found that it has changed.
The free air skies policy of the late 1990s put in place to provide competition in the market place to attract purchasers of Air Niugini have failed.
No one wants to invest in them as the true value is absolutely nothing.
PNG Air Ltd in the late 1990s provided an air transport licence to ensure that competition could be not only established but to ensure that a true market value could be established for the government to offload the dinosaur.
So why does the government continue the lifeline to the dinosaur in an SOE that has no income revenue stream.
PNG Air Ltd is the underdog – it does not receive cash injections from the government.
It has to be managed and it has been nursed through many historical events and is now being nursed through this economic illness with serious decisions being made by serious management.
This is why it is so successful; it is fully owned by the people for the people and is managed by the people.
Nearly 90 per cent of the workforce throughout the company is Papua New Guinean, 100 per cent cabin crew, 88 per cent of the pilots.
That is their commitment to their business model and their ongoing adherence to their business plan.
The recent announcement by the new GM to Link PNG is simply the words from the previous GM who is now at the helm of the parent dinosaur company and has inherited the problem that nobody else has been able to fix for over 20 years.
It cannot be fixed by borrowing more money to stifle competition and go directly against the government’s open skies policy – not while it is government owned.
They cannot have their cake and eat it as well.
Take note, it was falsely declared in their submission (to buy shares in PNG Air) that no one would lose their jobs.
Think about it, there would be hundreds of losses affecting thousands as duplicate handling staff jobs would be merged and sale offices combined.
This is the reality to this proposal. We are not stupid.
The Independent Consumer Competition Commission (ICCC) is the consumers’ voice.
Only last year ICCC investigated airline ticket pricing and the ever increasing takes that are being leached out of the fragile industry.
A review of that data showed that the biggest takers are the government business enterprises which take the money to support their own business – not contributing to the coffers at Vulupindi Haus.
This is what should be investigated, where will those money trails lead?
As a tax payer, I appeal to the State Enterprises Minister to show me where my tax is going to and why does Air Niugini needs to be saved from extinction when there is now an established choice within the industry.
We cannot be expected to pay for emotion about business when we cannot feed or look after ourselves when threatened by disease.
Perhaps it is PNG Air Ltd that should buy out Link PNG as the people in this country need the services to ensure our health, education and economy can grow strong to repay the massive debts incurred via SOE and other grand plans that have failed.