A new era for Air Niugini: The Asia-Pacific carrier embraces the Airbus A220

Key Points:

  • Air Niugini announces a significant fleet renewal initiative, committing to 13 new aircraft, including 11 Airbus A220s.

  • This fleet renewal, worth over $6.2 billion, is set to commence from 2025.

  • The airline moves away from its longstanding Fokker jets, signaling a strategic shift towards more modern aircraft.

PORT MORESBY — Air Niugini has embarked on a strategic renewal of its aircraft fleet. In a recent announcement via Facebook, the airline revealed its decision to purchase 11 Airbus A220s. This acquisition comes as part of a broader 13-aircraft initiative valued at over $6.2 billion, aimed at replacing the carrier's older Fokker planes. Deliveries are slated to begin in 2025.

In addition to this, the carrier unveiled in June its order for two Boeing 787-8s, which are earmarked to succeed its aging fleet of 767-300s. This expansive renewal project has received the government's stamp of approval, according to William Duma, the Papua New Guinea state enterprises minister. His endorsement heralds the airline's progression to the next stages of this venture.

Gary Seddon, the acting chief of Air Niugini, underscored the significance of the potential order, noting it as the airline's first commitment to brand-new regional jets. Reflecting on the transition, Seddon remarked, "Our Fokker jets have been pivotal for the past quarter-century. Now, we're transitioning from the analog era to the digital, introducing game-changing aircraft."

Air Niugini's decision to opt for the Airbus A220s aligns them with other carriers in the Asia-Pacific region that have shown preference for this aircraft model. For instance, Qantas, the Australian national airline, firmed up its Airbus A220 commitments in 2022, while Korean Air already operates them.

Providing a snapshot of Air Niugini's existing fleet, the Port Moresby-based airline operates eight Fokker jets, consisting of an even split between Fokker 100s and Fokker 70s. In addition to these, five Fokker aircraft remain in storage.