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Minister for State Owned Enterprises, William Duma made the official announcement for the purchase and leasing of the New Narrow Body Regional Jets for Air Niugini Limited.

After an exhaustive and detailed search for the replacement of Air Niugini’s Fokker F70 and F100 Regional Jets, Air Niugini has chosen the Airbus A220-100 and A220-300 Aircraft.

Minister Duma made this announcement after approval from the National Executive Council (NEC) chaired by Prime Minister James Marape, Air Niugini can now proceed to the next phase of the program.

Air Niugini will acquire 13 new aircraft in total, 11 will be A220 Narrow Body Jets and 2 Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a Widebody aircraft which have a total value of USD850 million or k2.55 billion.

Minister Duma referred to the new aircraft as the “people’s balus” and indicated that the expected arrival of the fleet will be in the first quarter of 2025.

“This new aircraft is a game changer for the people of Papua New Guinea. The airbus A220 can deliver our domestic services and our international services, with greater carrying capacity, greater comfort and greater operating efficiency. The A220 burns 27% less fuel than our current fleet, for the sectors,” said Minister Duma.

The People’s Balus is significantly more fuel-efficient supporting Air Niugini program to reduce carbon emissions from operations and complementing the commitment by the government.

In the meantime, Air Niugini will focus on the upskilling of its workforce for the expected arrival of the airbus in 2025.

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