Air Niugini Negotiates Aircraft Deals For Fleet Renewal

Air Niugini
Credit: Roslan Rahman / AFP / Getty Images

ADELAIDE—Papua New Guinea carrier Air Niugini is making progress on its plans to replace most of its jet and turboprop fleets.

The airline is in the final stages of selecting an aircraft type to replace its smaller jets, CEO Bruce Alabaster said during the CAPA Australia-Pacific Aviation Summit on Sept. 13.

Air Niugini is deciding between Airbus A220s and Embraer E190s/195s for this purpose, Alabaster said. The airline is looking to have the first three deliveries enter service in late 2023.

The new jets will allow the carrier to begin phasing out its 11 Fokker 70s and 100s as well as its single Boeing 737-800. Air Niugini already has four 737 MAX aircraft on order.

Air Niugini is also planning to lease a pair of A330-200s to replace its two 767-300ERs, Alabaster said. The leases on the 767s are due to expire in February 2023.

The carrier has issued a request for proposals for an additional four De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s. It already operates three of this type. The -400s will allow it to either grow its turboprop fleet or phase out some of its older DHC-8-200s and -300s, Alabaster said.

Air Niugini made a modest profit in 2021 and is on course for another profit in 2022, according to Alabaster. This has allowed the airline to continue its fleet replacement plans despite the pandemic.

Adrian Schofield

Adrian is a senior air transport editor for Aviation Week, based in New Zealand. He covers commercial aviation in the Asia-Pacific region.