The government of Papua New Guinea's Morobe Province says it has established an airline called Morobe Wings (Lae Nadzab) and will acquire a DHC-6 for PGK6 million kina (USD1.6 million) to provide better air transportation options for people living in the province's remote settlements.

"[Passenger charter operator] North Coast Aviation (Lae Nadzab) has its own problems and other mission aviation operators cannot step in due to problems they have have encountered," Governor Luther Wenge told The National newspaper. "Our team, lead by Deputy Governor Willie Simbisi, is now in China to negotiate for the plane that the provincial executive council has resolved and approved to buy."

Simbisi has said that the provincial government will establish an entity called Morobe Wings Limited, which will be responsible for operating the aircraft on behalf of the government. Searches of PNG business databases indicate that Morobe Wings Limited is yet to be registered. The governor said Morobe Wings would be based in the province's capital of Lae and fly to rural and remote areas not accessible by road.

The 33,705-square-kilometre province on PNG's northern coast has a population of almost 700,000 and just two significant roads extending inland from the coast - one to Wau and one to Madang. Air Niugini (PX, Port Moresby) and PNG Air (CG, Port Moresby) operate scheduled flights in and out of Lae but do not provide any intra-province flights.

ch-aviation has contacted the Morobe provincial government for further details.