17 Oct 2011

Prime Minister cancels proposed merger following PNG plane crash

2:35 pm on 17 October 2011

The Papua New Guinea prime minister, Peter O'Neill, has cancelled a proposed airline merger following the plane crash which killed 28 people last Thursday.

The Airlines PNG Dash-8 aircraft crashed about 30 kilometres south of Madang.

There were four survivors.

The PNG government recently gave in-principle support to a merger of the publicly listed Airlines PNG with the state-owned carrier Air Niugini.

But first secretary to the Minister for Civil Aviation, Levai Wama, says that's been canned.

"It's not put on hold, it's been cancelled by the prime minister. That merger is just never going to happen now? No, it's not. The nation is in shock, on that plane most of them were parents wanting to attend a thanksgiving at Divine World University in Madang, people are mourning for that."

In 2009 13 people were killed after an Airlines PNG flight went down just north of the village of Isurava.