AIR NIUGINI IS IN VERY SERIOUS TROUBLE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 31, 1997 - PACNEWS)---Papua New Guinea's national carrier, Air Niugini, is in a crisis situation, with half of its eight-plane F28 fleet grounded because of technical problems.

The airline is running as many special flights as possible, in a desperate attempt to handle the situation.

Passengers with confirmed bookings, however, only learn of canceled flights after arriving at the airport, and then are not told when re-scheduling will take place.

Sources at Air Niugini management changes and an urgent revamping of service priorities are needed to save the airline.

In addition, Ansett Australia, which provides engineering maintenance service for Air Niugini, now says it will deal with servicing needs only if payment is made in advance.

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