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 flights 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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. If you are a pilot, it sucks to be you when you run out of fuel over an ocean. I hope Air Niugini can find sufficient jet fuel. Passengers of the flights listed below got to experience traveling in a glider while earning frequent flyer miles.

    On August 24, 2001, Air Transat Flight 236 was a transatlantic flight bound for Lisbon, Portugal, from Toronto, Canada, and lost all engine power while flying over the Atlantic Ocean. The Airbus A330 ran out of fuel due to a fuel leak caused by improper maintenance.

    On July 23, 1983, Air Canada Flight 143 ran out of fuel at 41,000 feet (12,500m) altitude halfway through its flight from Montreal to Edmonton.

    On January 25, 1990, Avianca Flight 52 ran out of fuel. As a result, this Boeing 707, on service from Bogota, Colombia, crashed while approaching its destination at New York’s JFK International Airport. Seventy-three of the 158 people aboard died. The accident occurred after the plane flew in a holding pattern for 77 minutes while awaiting landing clearance at JFK and ran out of fuel. The NTSB attributed the crash to the failure of the flight crew to manage the aircraft’s fuel load and to communicate to ground controllers what had become an urgent fuel situation.

  2. Gary, while I am generally do not mind occasional typos, your opening sentence has to be corrected:
    … 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.

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