Welcome to the jet age
Air Niugini has become an all-jet aircraft company after retiring the last of its six Q400 turboprop planes. The airline’s fleet now comprises two Boeing 767s, three Boeing 737s, seven Fokker 100s and five Fokker 70s. Four more Fokker 70s are scheduled for delivery soon.
Air Niugini chief executive officer, Simon Foo, says the Q400 aircraft, used since 2010, served its purpose, however the airline is streamlining its fleet to reduce the variety of aircraft to create commonality in its operations.
“When you have a common fleet of aircraft, you have common spare parts and common crew, including pilots. This results in greatly reduced costs and increased efficiency in operations.”
He says that F70 has significant advantages over propeller-driven planes. “A Fokker 70 is a longer-range aircraft than the Q400 and the ATR. It flies faster and higher than the turboprops, shortening journey times.”
The Fokker 70 operates on key domestic routes, which the Q400 used to operate, as well as international routes to Cairns, Townsville and Micronesia.
End of an era … the last of Air Niugini’s six Q400 turboprop planes at Jacksons International Airport.