Papua New Guinea (PNG) has boosted Air Niugini's capital base to over kina60 million ($22 million) with a kina50 million cash injection, as part of a wider effort to restructure the airline.

The injection will allow the carrier to reduce its debt to PNG Banking, believed to exceed kina150 million. Air Niugini's previous capitalisation was about kina9 million, with the PNG Government the only shareholder.

Chief executive Andrew Ogil says fleet plans and route structure rationalisation are under review, but the major priority "-is cleaning up internally. Hopefully, with new Government support, we will be in a position to schedule our fleet re-equipment programme."

The airline's other A310-300 is being offered for sale, and the timing of the proposed privatisation of Air Niugini is undecided.

Source: Flight International