Air Niugini took delivery of a second brand new Q400 NextGen Turboprop aircraft on Monday October 18 and at the same time released its biggest ever flight schedule.
The second Air Niugini Q400 NextGen arrived on a very wet and overcast Monday afternoon, with the skies adding their own blessing to the traditional hose down ceremony.
The first aircraft of a similar type was delivered to Air Niugini in July this year, and together they mark a new era in Air Niugini’s daily operations.
The purchase of both aircraft was funded by PNG Sustainable Development Fund and the project had the support of the Minister for State Enterprise, Honorable Arthur Somare; the Board of Directors and management and staff of Air Niugini.
The Q400 NextGen aircraft is ideal for Air Niugini’s operational requirements, with a 74 seat capacity, a two class cabin and the ability to operate from shorter runways. The Q400 is also quick and quiet with outstanding fuel efficiency and low emissions.
On the arrival of Air Niugini’s second Q400 NextGen, CEO Mr Wasantha Kumarasiri detailed the dramatic changes that the airline had undertaken within the last few years.
“The arrival of the second Q400 NextGen will increase the number of aircraft operated by Air Niugini to twenty, almost 100 percent increase in the fleet since January 2006. This year alone, Air Niugini delivered three aircraft including two brand new Q400 NextGen and a Boeing 767-300ER to improve our services to the travelling public, our valued customers”
“With additional aircraft in the fleet, we are confident this will provide operational flexibility for both our passengers and cargo movements…It also places Air Niugini in a better position to take advantage of the resource development that is currently taking place in the country.” He added.
Customers will see evidence of Air Niugini’s operational flexibility in new schedules that have been released and which come into effect Sunday October 31, 2010.
So great are the increases in services that for the first time ever Air Niugini has been forced to release an international schedule separate to the domestic schedule.
The international schedule sees the introduction of a second service to Hong Kong on Wednesday, returning on Thursday night; a third Manila service on Friday (*subject to government approval); a direct Singapore service on Thursday with a direct Kuala Lumpur service on Saturday.
The daily Brisbane service is further complemented by an F100 overnight service on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with a return next day service. As well there will be a third service to Brisbane on Sunday to be operated by an F100 with a same day return.
The domestic schedule has also been enhanced with improved interconnections between the island regions and Momase. The Hoskins service has also been developed into a same day service.