Air Niugini welcomed its first Boeing 737-700 series aircraft today with a traditional fly past and hose down at Jackson’s Airport, Port Moresby.
The aircraft under the PNG registration of P2-PXD has 120 seats, comprised of 16 business class and 104 economy class seats.
The Boeing 737 will be initially utilized on the routes of Port Moresby to Sydney and Port Moresby to Brisbane and Port Moresby to Cebu, in the Philippines.
Cebu in the Philippines is a new route, being the tenth international destination in Air Niugini’s growing network.
The arrival of the Boeing 737 brings the total number of aircraft operated by Air Niugini to twenty-two. The rapidly expanding fleet includes a variety of aircraft types from Dash 8 100/200/300 series, Q400s, Fokker 100s, Boeing 767s, and now the first of two Boeing 737s.
Speaking at the welcome function of the Boeing 737, PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said that it is “pleasing to see Air Niugini opening up new routes, increasing frequencies and acquiring additional aircraft to enhance its existing operations”.
The Boeing 737 is also unique as it carries fuselage livery depicting the Owen Stanley Ranges along which was fought the Kokoda campaign of the Second World War.
The special livery commemorates the 70th Anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign and honors the legacy of all who served.
Speaking at the arrival ceremony Air Niugini Chairman Garth McIlwain said that “for many of those coming to trek the Kokoda Trail, their first experience of Papua New Guinea is when they board an Air Niugini flight”.
“In our own way, Air Niugini has decided to have the Kokoda map in the aircraft livery to acknowledge and recognize this important event in our history”, he added.