PNG’S National airline, Air Niugini recently celebrated its 43rd anniversary with activities staged in Kokopo in East New Britain Province.

The airline chose to go to Kokopo as a way of bringing Air Niugini to other parts of Papua New Guinea instead of having all anniversary celebrations centred around Port Moresby. Last year , the anniversary celebrations were held in Mt Hagen and the year before in Lae.

The 43rd anniversary activities commenced with a ceremony to name one of its Fokker 100 jets “ Rabaul” on Friday 28th October.

Air Niugini CEO, Simon Foo, said this was in recognition of the importance Rabaul, and East New Britain to Air Niugini’s domestic air services.

The naming ceremony was followed by a corporate function in the evening to be attended by Air Niugini’s key business partners and stake holders in East New Britain.

An Open Day wasalso held the following day at Vunapope School hall at Kokopo.

Different departments within the airline including Engineering, Flight Operations, Cabin Crew, Human Resources, Sales/UATP, Tours/Destinations, Cargo, Marketing, Link PNG and East New Britain Tourism Bureau showcased what they offers, while career information on Air Niugini’s pilots and engineering cadet programmes as well as other areas of the airline was also provided.

“It’s an opportunity for the public, especially students to come along, ask questions and get first-hand information on potential future careers with Air Niugini,” Mr Foo said.

Air Niugini’s staff function on the other hand will be held in Port Moresby, which recognized the airline’s longest serving staff for their service and contribution to the airline.

A total 22 staff received awards this year after clocking in 25, 30, 35 and 40 years respectively with the airline.

Air Niugini commenced operations on November 1, 1973 when the first Fokker F27 Friendship lifted off Jacksons Airport on a flight to Lae, Rabaul and Kieta.

Air Niugini and its subsidiary company, Link PNG now operate to 25 domestic airports and 14 international destinations in Australia, Asia and the Pacific.

As the airline celebrates 43 years of service, more flights will be added over the next two months in time for the busy Christmas period.