Air Niugini’s subsidiary arm, Link PNG is set to welcome a new addition to its fleet on Monday (February 3).
A Q402 aircraft, under the registration P2-PXQ.
The aircraft operates at a rate close to jet speeds and is 30% faster than other turbo-prop engine aircrafts currently in operation. Meaning, the Q402 is able to cater for lesser travel times.
It is fitted with 76 seats and has over 50% more passenger capacity than the dash-8’s in current operation.
Due to its size and mobility, this aircraft is best fit to fly into smaller airports that aren’t able to cater for Fokker Jets.
Link PNG’s General Manager, Bruce Alabaster, in a statement said the new aircraft will be able to operate longer direct routes and the additional seat capacity can be expected to result in lower airfares.
“Since Q402 has the potential to operate longer routes, it now gives Link PNG the opportunity to open up new, long direct routes that the current Dash 8 is unable to operate to.”
“Additionally, it has 50% more seats than the present DHC-8’s, but similar operating costs, this can expect to result in lower airfares”, Alabaster said.
Further adding that current airport upgrades by the NAC and ADB under the Civil Aviation Development Investment Program (CADIP) is also timely.
“Whilst Air Niugini had previously operated this type of aircraft, lower lease rates and the airport upgrades under CADIP, now made the fleet more economically efficient and also able to operate to a lot more airports than previously,” he said.
The Q402 will immediately be available for operations to airports that are planned for upgrades including Rabaul, Alotau, Madang and Kavieng at varying times through this year.
Additional Q402 aircrafts are scheduled to be delivered, with the next aircraft arriving late February.