Air Niugini is looking to purchase newer, cost efficient aircrafts to replace its Fokker fleet.
During a visit of the Airbus 220-300 operated by Air Baltic, Air Niugini invited Airline executives and the media to join in a demonstration tour of the aircraft to get a feel of the A220-300.
The new design aircraft is in the 100-150 seat market and comprises of state of the art technology, with the latest aerodynamic design and new generation engine.
These advances boast noise reduction and give rise to fuel savings of at least 20 percent, compared to older generation aircrafts of the same size.
The aircraft visited Port Moresby featuring a comfortable layout of 145 seats, in a single class passenger cabin, with wider economy class seats in a two-three configuration set up on either side of the aisle with spacious legroom and overhead storage bins.
Santiago Garcia Benito , Airbus Single-Aisle Product Marketing Senior Analyst Customer Affairs, said the A220 can be easily customized by interested airlines.
“Customer airlines can choose to have the seating arrangement separated either to have business and economy class or just stick to the original design”
“The aisle and lavatory are spacious enough for handicapped persons too”, added Benito.
The fuselage is lit up by LED lights that come in different colors, which mean, customer airlines can configure this to match the color of their airline’s brand.
Boeing 737 Captain, Koro Ravai, who was part of the demonstration tour, says, pilots will be happy to fly the A200-300.
“It’s an aircraft designed by pilots, for pilots,” added Ravai.
Prime Minister, James Marape, who joined the demonstration tour expressed admiration for the new aircraft, however, he said, the selection of a replacement fleet of the Fokker will be left to the experts to decide.
“It’s good for us to start looking at purchasing new aircrafts instead of second hand ones to save maintenance cost” said West New Britain Governor, Sasindran Muthuvel during the test flight.
The A220 is capable of flying non-stop routes of up to 3,400 nautical miles and offers the range capability of larger single aisle aircrafts.
This means, it is capable to operate in Papua New Guinea, and the Asia- Pacific region, with the ability to serve domestic routes with greater efficiency.
In July, Air Niugini carried out a similar demonstration tour on the Embraer E195-E2 in response to the government’s call to improve the current state of air travel in Papua New Guinea.
Hence, Air Niugini’s Managing Director, Alan Milne says, there is definitely an interest in the Airbus 220-300 and the Embraer E195-E2.
“The beauty and the versatility of the Airbus 220 and the Embraer E195-E2 is we can use both these aeroplanes for domestic and international routes”
By Helen Sea – EMTV News – Port Moresby
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