Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Airlines PNG-Air Niugini row over Daru airfares

Airlines PNG yesterday accused Air Niugini of “making headlines using misleading information” regarding reintroduction of flights between Daru and Port Moresby, The National reports.
APNG sales and distribution manager Paul Abbot particularly referred to Air Niugini comparing its K352.20 one-way fare with APNG’s K999 between Daru and Port Moresby.
Air Niugini, however, countered that it was “offering the people of Western province a choice with competitive airfares”.
“They (Air Niugini) have chosen to quote the highest APNG fare available which is a fully flexible fare and compared it to the PX (Air Niugini) promotional special fare with restrictive conditions,” he said.

Passengers outside Daru Airport terminal on June 1. They will be the ones who benefit from cheaper airfares between Daru and Port Moresby.-Nationalpic by MALUM NALU
 “This does not present your readers with an accurate picture of the situation.
“It will be interesting to see the availability of the fare they are quoting at K352.20.
“If based on the PX media people believe that they can all buy tickets between Port Moresby and Daru for K352.20 then I am afraid they will be badly disappointed.
“APNG have in the recent past offered promotional level fares and will continue to do so and in fact have promotional level fares in place at present starting from K339.”
Air Niugini acting general manager - commercial, Dominic Kaumu, countered: “Air Niugini has a range of fares between Port Moresby and Daru.
“Apart from our normal one way fare of K618.40, we offer discounted airfares which are also available throughout our network.
“Our lowest airfare of K352.20 represents a 60% discount off the base normal fare.
“We are offering the people of Western province a choice with competitive fares.”
Abbot said the APNG fare structure was also driven by the services operated beyond Daru and the smaller regional ports that were supported.
“To some degree there is some subsidisation which supports the operation of these other services and guarantees that other ports with the region and links between Daru and other centres can be maintained,” he said,
“If APNG simply focused on services between Port Moresby and Daru then the operating economics would be vastly different and there would be an immediate impact on reducing fare levels.
“The people of the region, however, want more services rather than less and consequently this affects the pricing structure.”
Abbot said the APNG schedule was a daily schedule to Daru, while the Air Niugini schedule initially was only twice a week.
“APNG have been committed to the region for quite some time and believe the APNG schedule reflects this,” he said.
“During the airstrip upgrade in late 201, APNG adjusted the schedule and used Twin Otter flights to ensure that regular services were maintained.
“The operating economics for the Twin Otter and the lower payload and passenger loads which they are capable of carrying meant that this service operated at a loss, however, APNG believed that it was in the interests of the region that it continued to run scheduled operations.”

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