Air Niugini says Port Moresby represents an ideal maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) hub for airlines in the region.
The Papua New Guinea (PNG) flag carrier has established an MRO facility for third-party work at Jacksons International Airport at Port Moresby, which will offer heavy maintenance checks on aircraft such as the De Havilland Dash 8s and Fokkers, along with other types.
Air Niugini chief executive Alan Milne said PNG’s location, coupled with existing engineering expertise and infrastructure, made the country a good option for airlines in Australia, Asia and the Pacific Islands to service their fleets.
Further, the income from the MRO would would support the financial security of the government-owned airline while generating new jobs for local workers.
“We have some of the best talent in the engineering space that I’ve seen in my 40 years in the aviation industry,” Milne said in a statement on Friday.
“Beyond that, financially it makes sense to consider the Air Niugini MRO when airline operators are spending millions of dollars to have their aircraft serviced as far away as Europe.
“This is a win-win-win scenario. For Air Niugini, for PNG and for the airlines who will benefit from this new competitive MRO.”
Milne commenced as the airline’s new chief executive in October 2018. Previously, he had been with Qantas for about 36 years, starting as an apprentice maintenance engineer and rising through the ranks to roles including Head of Engineering.
The PNG flag carrier said its MRO facility would specialise in heavy maintenance checks, which involve stripping the aircraft and life-limited components, including engines, for detailed inspections and servicing.
Its engineers recently completed its “first full service”, having won a competitive tender to service a Dash 8 from Solomon Airlines.
“There is capacity beyond the airline’s current workload; with a much broader opportunity to grow the MRO business in an on-demand basis,” Air Niugini said.
The April 2019 edition of Australian Aviation included a feature story on recent trends in the global MRO sector. That story can be read here.