Air Niugini (ANG) recently announced it was now an all-jet aircraft operator after the last of its six Q400 turboprop aircraft left the country in Jun-2017 destined for a new owner.
The Air Niugini fleet now comprises of five Fokker 70s, with another four on order, seven Fokker 100s, three Boeing 737s and two Boeing 767s. These aircraft operate both Air Niugini’s domestic and international routes.
Source: Air Niugini and CAPA Fleet Database
Air Niugini CEO Simon Foo believes the Q400 aircraft delivered to Air Niugini by Bombardier since 2010 have served their purpose, however Air Niugini is now streamlining its fleet to reduce the number of different aircraft types and ensure commonality in its operations.
Mr Foo stated: “When you have a common fleet of aircraft, you have common spare parts and common crew, including pilots and cabin crew. This results in greatly reduced costs and increased efficiency in operations.”
“Air Niugini is developing an aircraft fleet targeted to suit our current and future demand for faster and more efficient service. The Fokker 70 aircraft has significant advantages over propeller driven aircraft types, and best meets our domestic and regional transport needs.”
“A Fokker 70 is a longer range aircraft than the Q400 and the ATR, which is of significant benefit as Air Niugini continues to expand its services across the country and the region. The aircraft flies faster and higher than the turboprops, shortening journey times and avoiding adverse weather which is so prevalent in PNG,” continued Mr Foo.
Air Niugini has so far received seven of the total nine Fokker 70 aircraft purchased, with five already in service and two more being prepared for service. The Fokker 70 aircraft operates key domestic routes which the Q400 used to operate, as well as existing and new international routes to Cairns, Townsville and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Air Niugini’s subsidiary company, Link PNG operates a fleet of Dash 8 aircraft which mainly service the smaller provincial centres, as well as providing services for charter clients.