Air Niugini, the flag carrier of Papua New Guinea, will replace its aging Fokker F70 and F100 aircraft with 11 state-of-the-art Airbus A220 aircraft.
The announcement was made by the Department of Information and Communication Technology of Papua New Guinea, which stated that the country’s Minister for State Enterprises, William Duma, announced that the airline will fly 11 Airbus A220-100 and A220-300s in the future.
Air Niugini’s new aircraft order was approved by the National Executive Council and will allow the airline to move on with the next steps of the project.
“The Airbus A220 can operate both domestic and international routes with more capacity. It burns 27 percent less fuel than the current fleet for the same sectors and has greater comfort and operating efficiency,” Duma said.
Meanwhile, acting chief executive officer of Air Niugini, Gary Seddon, added that this is the first time the airline has purchased new regional jets, helping the carrier move from analog to digital technologies.
“The Fokker jet aircraft have done their part for the last 25 years and it’s time to replace them with a game changer aircraft,” Seddon continued.
According to ch-aviation.com data, Air Niugini currently operates a fleet of six F70 (three inactive) and seven F100 (four inactive) aircraft, with an average age of 29.05 years. The airline owns all six of its F70s and five of its seven F100s, with the remaining two on lease from Bank South Pacific.
As of July 31, 2023, Airbus’ Orders & Deliveries filings showed no evidence of an order from the airline for the A220, nor from an undisclosed customer(s) for the type so far in 2023.
Still, if Air Niugini were to order some Airbus A220-100s, in addition to the A220-300 aircraft, it would be a substantial boost to the A220-100’s backlog. The manufacturer’s data shows that there are a total of 95 orders for the type, with Airbus having delivered 56 as of July 31, 2023.
Airbus’ latest A220-100 delivery was made to Delta Air Lines in March 2022, ch-aviation.com data showed.
In June 2023, Air Niugini ordered two Boeing 787-8 aircraft. With the latest Airbus A220 acquisition announcement, the Department of Information and Communication Technology of Papua New Guinea estimated that the acquisition of the 11 Airbus A220 and two Boeing 787s will cost K2.5 billion ($685.2 million).