Wel­come to the jet age

Paradise - - Contents -

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.

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