American manufacturer Boeing has secured a new airline customer for its 787 Dreamliner.
Papua New Guinea’s flag carrier Air Niugini has ordered a pair of 787-8s to support the growth of its long-haul fleet.
Gary Seddon, acting CEO of Air Niugini, said: "Signing this contract with Boeing for the purchase of two modern, widebody 787 Dreamliners will enable Air Niugini to grow its network across Asia, Australia, and New Zealand and fulfil its mission as the premier airline in Papua New Guinea, providing the best air service in the region.”
The carrier currently holds a fleet of 20 aircraft comprising seven Fokker F100s, six F70s, three De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400s, a single DHC-8-300, two 767-300ERs and one 737-800.
The pair of Dreamliners are likely to replace the company’s ageing 767s.
P2-PXW (c/n 25365) is a former SAS Scandinavian Airlines example that first flew in September 1991. Over the last 30 years, the twinjet has flown for more than five airlines including AV8 Air, Icelandair, Santa Barbara Airlines, Travel Service, and Kabo Air. Air Niugini accepted the airframe into its fleet in April 2011.
The second 767, P2-PXV (c/n 30341), first took to the air in September 1999 and was subsequently delivered to the Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight (now Presidential Flight) in a VIP configuration. The widebody saw a brief four-year stint with Etihad Airway between 2004 and 2008 before it returned to the UAE government airline. In July 2010, the Papua New Guinean flag carrier accepted Xray Victor into its fleet.
"The excellent capability of the 787 allows Air Niugini to open Port Moresby to more destinations, increasing tourism and economic growth in the South Pacific region," said Erika Pearson, Boeing vice president, commercial sales and marketing, Southeast Asia and Oceania. "The Dreamliner's flexibility, outstanding efficiency and unmatched passenger comfort will enable Air Niugini to provide improved long-haul connectivity to the islands.”
Boeing says it has worked with the company for more than 45 years. The airline operates a domestic network from Port Moresby across Papua New Guinea, as well as international flights across the Asia-Pacific region, including to Australia, Singapore, Solomon Islands and Fiji.