By Fabian Hakalits – EM TV News, Port Moresby
National carrier, Air Niugini, has acquired an additional nine Fokker 70 aircrafts, in addition to two others already flying domestic and international airspace.
Air Niugini says the acquisition is part of its re-fleeting exercise that will replace the existing Dash8 Q400 fleet.
The national airline aims to acquire nine F70 by 2017, the first F70 in April this year, the second this month and third to arrive by December.
Board Chairman, Sir Frederick Reiher, and Chief Executive Officer, Simon Foo, were in Netherlands, meeting with KLM Hopper, the management of current Fokker 70 operators.
They also met with Fokker services management and discussed long-term support of the F70 and F100 Air Niugini operations.
In a statement by the company’s Corporate Affairs Department, Sir Frederick said the airline believes F70s aircraft perfectly suites the PNG market due to performance and operating economics.
Sir Fredrick said that the first F70 commercial flight to Mt Hagen marked a significant expansion of jet aircraft operation on major domestic routes, and a beginning of the re-fleeting project.
The better range F70 will provide more opportunities to improve and expand services to the regional South Pacific countries.