6 Jan 2023

Puma Energy currency issues lead to PNG flight cancellations

8:44 pm on 6 January 2023
Air Niugini, Papua New Guinea

Air Niugini, Papua New Guinea Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Domestic flights in Papua New Guinea were suspended due to Puma Energy, the main supplier of fuel, experiencing currency issues.

Puma Energy released a statement yesterday, anouncing that it will be restricting the supply of fuel, due to a shortage of US dollars.

Puma Energy can only purchase oil using US currency which is then processed into fuel in country.

As a result Air Niugini announced the cancellation of all domestic flights, from midnight on 5 January.

RNZ Pacific's correspondent, Scott Waide, said a legal action is expected between the Central Bank and Puma Energy, concerning fuel profits.

"There is a tussle going on between Central Bank and Puma energy," Waide said that the Central Bank has alleged that some of Puma Energy's profits have gone overseas.

"Thing is Puma Energy has a monopoly on Fuel supply in Papua New Guinea and that was an arrangement that was instituted several years back more than 10 years ago when we started processing our own fuel in country," Waide said.

Air Niugini said these cancellations will be ongoing until Puma removes the supply restrictions.