This is an edited version of what Milne wrote:
While PNG has fortunately not had any reported cases of coronavirus, it is timely to personally update you on the evolving situation, and the precautions Air Niugini is taking to protect your well-being whenever you travel with us.
The health and safety of the people of PNG, our passengers and crew are always our absolute priority. Air Niugini has always been proud of the steps we take every day to ensure our processes are world's best in protecting the health of our passengers and staff.
While there are no reported cases of Covid-19 in PNG, we are already taking a number of additional steps to enhance your protection on our flights, and to reduce any risk of Covid-19 being spread by travellers. We note that the World Health Organisation has advised that there is extremely low risk of cross-transmission between passengers and crew, and that to date there has been no confirmed inflight transmission of COVID-19 anywhere in the world.
To date, Air Niugini is already:
• Ensuring our aircraft are sprayed with hospital grade disinfectant every night they are at a maintenance base, including Port Moresby.
• Ensuring all our offices where we interact with you, our customers, such as sales outlets, are sprayed with hospital grade disinfectant every night.
• Reducing and cancelling flights voluntarily for those locations where the infection rates were previously increasing rapidly such as previously through Asia, and we will continue to do so to all locations showing signs of significant spread.
• Replacing head rest covers every time an aircraft transits through Port Moresby.
• Removing in-flight magazines from all our aircraft, to reduce any risk of cross-transmission.
• Ensuring in-flight blankets are cleaned using industrial laundry practises, whenever their sealed container has been opened, and replacing earpiece covers on all distributed headsets after every flight.
• Ensuring at all international departure airports with increased levels of infection that enhanced screening processes are in place and being implemented to reduce any chance we uplift any passengers to PNG who are showing any symptoms of infection.
• Ensuring all headsets, blankets and headrests are removed off ail seats, before aircraft cleaning.
• Providing all who interact with the public with personal protective equipment appropriate to the risk level for their role and location.
Pir senior leaders are meeting regularly to discuss our ongoing response and ensure we have the latest information from health authorities. We stand ready to support passengers who need to change their travel due to Covid-19, and we are waiving change fees for eligible quests.
I do acknowledge that this is a rapidly evolving situation, and Air Niugini already has well developed plans ready to roll-out should there be any reported cases of Covid-19 in PNG.
While we acknowledge some of these may mean your travel experience seems different from normal, these would be implemented to minimise any chances of domestic transmission of Covid-19 within PNG, and to ensure your and our staff safety on all our domestic flights.
All our flights are equipped with hand sanitiser and face masks, and if any quest presents as unwell of with flu-like symptoms on one of our flights, they'll be provided with a face mask and hand sanitiser, and where possible, moved away from other passengers.
We uphold the highest standards when it comes to cleaning our aircraft and have stringent processes in place. Our aircraft are cleaned every night they are at a maintenance base, including Port Moresby, and on every transit through Port Moresby, which includes the use of an antibacterial, antimicrobial cleaning product that reduces the risk of harmful viruses, moulds, fungus, algae and any other possible harmful pathogenic bacteria.
All Air Niugini Boeing and Fokker jet aircraft are fitted with high efficiency particulate air filters, which perform similarly to those used to keep the air clean in hospital operating rooms. This means the air quality on the aircraft is essentially sterile and particle-free.
We have also updated our booking policy for our passengers with international bookings that wish to change their travel due to COVID-19. If you need to make a change to your booking, there are alternative options available to you and I request you contact your travel agent, or the Air Niugini call centre to discuss these.
We are aware there is speculation out there both regarding changing travel restrictions around the world and other factors affecting travel. Please continue to visit Air Niugini's Facebook page to ensure you have the correct and most up to date travel updates.
Thank you for your long support of Air Niugini and your trust that we are doing everything during this challenging time to ensure the best interests of the people of PNG.