SECOND AIR NIUGINI AIRBUS CHARTERED

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (March 29, 1999 - The National)---National flag carrier Air Niugini has succeeded in obtaining charter work for its second Airbus from a Brisbane-based company, Pacific Air Express.

Air Niugini Managing Director Andrew Ogil said yesterday that the airline's commercial division had been vigorously seeking profitable opportunities to maximize the utilization of the aircraft, following management's decision to retain the second Airbus earlier this year.

The charter of the Airbus to Pacific Air Express was one such viable option clinched by the company as it continued to search for opportunities to help its financial position, Mr. Ogil said in a statement.

The charter, consisting of 14 round trips from March 30 right through April between Brisbane and the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara, will generate a significant amount of commercial revenue towards the airline's cash flow situation.

Each charter will average 10 tons of general freight from Brisbane and 20 tons of marine products, predominately tuna, from Honiara.

The operation will not affect the airline's Airbus schedule to any of its international ports because the aircraft will be picked up from Brisbane on Friday, Tuesday and Sunday evenings after the arrival of PX 003 and returned to Brisbane in time for Air Niugini's scheduled service, PX 004, to Port Moresby the following morning.

Final preparations were underway between Air Niugini and Pacific Air Express during the weekend, Mr. Ogil said, adding the airline would provide a crew of four, consisting of two pilots, a load master and an engineer.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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