Airlines Air Niugini orders six Airbus A220-100, adds five through lessors

Air Niugini has signed an agreement with Airbus for six new Airbus A220-100s to boost its seat capacity and operation sustainability. Furthermore, the airline will take over five more A220s through lessors.

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The national flag-carrier of Papua New Guinea, Air Niugini, has signed a purchase agreement with manufacture Airbus for six new single-aisle Airbus A220-100 aircraft. Furthermore, the airline will bolster its fleet by acquiring another two A220-100s and three A220-300s through third party lessors.

These in total 11 new aircraft will enable Air Niugini to pursue their fleet modernisation programme. Additionally, the A220s will allow the carrier to operate more flights to new markets, while being as environmentally friendly as possible. The A220 offers the lowest fuel consumption and widest cabin in the 100-150 seat category.

According to Air Niugini, the aircraft will be used on routes both within the domestic and regional network. The order was announced during a special event held at the airline’s operational hub in Port Moresby. It was attended by Gary Seddon, Acting Chief Executive Officer Air Niugini and Anand Stanley, President Airbus Asia-Pacific, in the presence of the Hon. James Marape, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and Hon. William Duma, Minister for State Enterprises.

Seddon commented: “This is a milestone in the history of our national airline that will support the growth of trade and tourism in Papua New Guinea. The new aircraft will offer the highest levels of comfort for our passengers, while also ensuring a significant reduction in fuel consumption and emissions when compared to the aircraft they will replace.”

Minister Duma added: “This is a momentous occasion for Air Niugini. Coinciding with the airline’s 50th Anniversary, Air Niugini secures six new regional jets that will revolutionise travel for the citizens of Papua New Guinea. I am looking forward to welcoming the ‘People’s Balus’ (the people’s plane) to our skies”.

Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, said: “Air Niugini has seen how much more the A220 brings to their airline than the competing product in this space, so much more efficiency, range, comfort and growth potential. We thank Air Niugini for its confidence in Airbus and are committed to offering our full support to the airline as it transitions to its new fleet.”

Air Niugini was founded in September 1972 and started operations a year later. Currently, the fleet is 20 aircraft strong, including one Boeing 737-800, two Boeing 767-300s, four De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400s, six Fokker 70 and seven Fokker 100s. Together, the fleet age is well above 25 years. With the new Airbus A220s, the manufacturer will operate Airbus for the first time and will also strongly reduce fleet age.

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