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$40 million plane will be leased to government

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 7, 2009) – National flag carrier, Air Niugini, is to buy a new jet plane from Canada for the PNG Government to hire.

This is the official word from the Air Niugini board yesterday when confirming reports that the airline was buying the plane – a Falcon jet for the Government to use.

Sources with Air Niugini informed the Post-Courier that the new jet would cost the airline $US40 million or K128.4 million as of yesterday’s exchange rate.

The modern jet will be leased to the Government to help the ageing Kumul government aircraft to fly the government ministers around the country.

The sources said the new jet has more leg room to accommodate the leaders as they fly from place to place.

It will also help the Prime Minister in particular.

Sir Michael Somare has been having problems with his legs and the new aircraft is expected to ease the pressure on his health produced by frequent travel in pressurized aircraft cabins.

However, industry sources say the new jet will be permitted to land at only four airports around Papua New Guinea, restricting its usefulness in many places.

It is not yet known if the Falcon will be used more often for overseas flights.

According to Civil Aviation sources, a consultant employed by Civil Aviation Authority, Rick Stanford is in Canada to finalise the process of procuring the jet by making last pre-delivery checks.

The new jet will reportedy be picked up in Singapore by a flight crew from Air Niugini.

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:

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