"This year was no different, three pallets of medical items and supplies weighing a total 286kg were uplifted on PX004 from Brisbane to Port Moresby two weeks ago. They have been cleared and delivered to Port Moresby General Hospital by TNT for the operations," Air Niugini said.
Operation Open Heart began more than 30 years ago with the first project visit to Tonga, but the organisation's purpose remains the same - to gift surgical best practice to the most disadvantaged communities on the planet.
"We deal with critical and complex surgical interventions in places where people have lost hope.
"While some of these interventions may not sound ground-breaking by Australian standards - a few being heart valve replacements, burn scar contractures, cataract removal, and uterine prolapse surgery - we were first to perform some of them in places like PNG, Fiji, Tonga, and Vanuatu, transforming thousands of lives as a result," Open Heart International said.
Air Niugini MD Alan Milne said the airline has been supportive of the program since it started in 1993 by uplifting lifesaving medical equipment free of charge to help Papua New Guineans - especially children - in need of complex heart surgeries.
"Air Niugini is pleased to be part of a vital program that continues to save and improve lives of hundreds of children with heart problem, most of who wouldn't have been able to live a normal life, if it wasn't for this program.
"Apart from giving children a second chance in life, this program also ensures knowledge and skill transfer between the visiting and the local medical teams. ANG is happy to continue to support this important, lifesaving program."
A team of volunteers including doctors, nurses and other medical specialists from Operation Open Heart International in Australia visit Papua New Guinea every year for the operations. They also provide training and support, particularly in surgery and post-operative care.