AUSTRALIA ALLOWS AIR NIUGINI F28 FLIGHTS TO CONTINUE DESPITE NOISE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (March 31, 2002 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---The Australian government has granted approval for Air Niugini to continue to operate its F28-4000 aircraft to Cairns for another two years.

This is despite Australia's introduction of noise level restrictions, which became effective a year ago and could have caused problems for the F28s.

Air Niugini chief executive Peter Roberts said the Australian government’s action will enable the airline to continue Port Moresby-Cairns services without change.

Air Niugini has also purchased two F-28 aircraft from the now-defunct Australian airline Flightwest.

The Post-Courier has been reliably informed that the two aircraft were purchased at AUD$ 500,000 (US$ 266,950) each although Mr. Roberts would neither confirm nor deny it. He would only say the figures are confidential but "they are a great buy."

Mr. Roberts said the two aircraft will replace two older F28-1000 aircraft that the airline is retiring from service.

"The newer aircraft have nine more seats and carry more air freight and therefore have more earning power and will be less expensive to maintain," Mr. Roberts said.

Air Niugini uses its F28s on domestic flights and international services to Honiara (Solomon Islands) and Cairns.

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

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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