DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
April 18, 2024
Care to share?

Airbus is about to win a new order for the A220 after Air Niugini has selected the type for the replacement of its aging Fokker fleet. The order for eleven A220s needs to be finalized, the airframer says, but the airline from Papua New Guinea expects to take delivery of the first aircraft in 2025. Air Niugini selects Airbus A220 as Fokker replacement.

Air Niugini operates a regional and international network out of the country East of Indonesia since it was established in 1972. The current fleet includes twenty Fokkers. The carrier operates seven F100s and six F70s, with most of the former type having operated before with TAM Linhas Aereas and the latter joining from KLM Cityhopper when they were replaced by Embraer E1s in 2016. The average age of the F100s is nearing 31 years and that of the F70s over 27 years.

“This is the first time for Air Niugini to purchase brand new regional jets. We are moving from analogue to digital. The Fokker jet aircraft have done their part for the last 25 years and it is time to replace them with a game changer aircraft,” says Gary Seddon, the airline’s acting CEO, in a statement on Facebook (in the center of the main picture with Minister of State Enterprises, William Duma).

The order has been approved by the country’s National Executive Council and will make Air Niugini the first operator of the type in this part of the world. Back in 2019, there were reports that Air Niugini was considering the Embraer E195-E2.

The order includes both the A220-100 and the A220-300, but Air Niugini hasn’t specified the exact split of the order nor any future purchase rights. With their 6.400-kilometer range, the Airbus can fly significantly further than the Fokker F100 (4.300-kilometer) or F70 (3.410-kilometer) on both domestic and international routes out of Port Moresby.

At the same time, the Airbus offers more seats. If Air Niugini would replace the F70s with the A220-100 and maintain a single-class cabin, the seat count could increase from eighty on the Fokker to 120 on the Airbus. The F100s are configured with 101 seats, including eight Business Class and 93 Economy. Dual-class seat count for the A220-300 stands at 130.

Dreamliner order in June

The Airbus order is part of Air Niugini’s fleet renewal plan. The airline announced on June 5 that it has signed a contract with Boeing for two 787-8s for delivery in 2025. They replace two almost 28-year-old 767-300s, which have caused the airline some headaches in recent months after both aircraft had become unserviceable and were in for repairs and checks.

“Signing this contract with Boeing for the purchase of two modern, widebody 787 Dreamliners will enable Air Niugini to grow its network across Asia, Australia, and New Zealand and fulfill its mission as the premier airline in Papua New Guinea, providing the best air service in the region,” Gary Seddon said in a June media statement.

The fleet also includes a single 737-800 almost twenty years old, one De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100, and three -300s.

+ posts

Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.