Air Niugini (PX, Port Moresby) has suspended its services to Kieta in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville just over a month after they were resumed, Post-Courier has reported. The airline cited safety concerns after solar panels powering the airport's Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) system has been stolen.

The flights were suspended until further notice effective February 12, 2019.

Air Niugini resumed Kieta operations on January 9, 2019, following the installation of a new PAPI system. The flights had been previously suspended for 1.5 years due to concerns about the status of the infrastructure at the airport.

Prior to the suspension, the carrier served Kieta 2x weekly connecting it with Port Moresby, Buka, and Rabaul. All services were on board Fokker 100 aircraft.

PNG Air (CG, Port Moresby) continues to serve Kieta with Dash 8-100 and ATR72-600 turboprops.

Buka and Kieta serve the restive Autonomous Region of Bougainville, also known as the North Salomons, off the eastern shore of Papua. The region is due to vote on its independence in 2019. Buka airport itself was scrutinised in December 2018 due to the low level of safety but avoided closure after immediate action had been taken.