Air Niugini plans to replace fleet of aircraft


AIR Niugini plans to implement a fleet replacement plan, says managing director Alan Milne.
Milne said this during the Brazilian company Embraer’s latest aircraft model E195-E2’s visit to the country on Monday as part of the Asia Pacific segment of its global demonstration tour.
“Air Niugini is trying to put a fleet replacement plan in place so we know exactly what we want to replace all our fleet,” Milne said.
“And it starts with the (Boeing) 767 right down to Dash 8,” he said.
“The Fokker is probably one of the pressing issues because we have a problem with the engine turnover overhaul facility.”
Milne said there was only one facility in the world and they were having problems acquiring engines from that facility.
Milne said they might not replace the Fokker fleet with Embraer’s E195-E2 but it could be any of the other Embraer jets.
He said they were looking at every manufacturer at the moment to see what would best suit their purposes.
“We have spoken to all of them. The big ones like Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and the Mitsubishi Group which is just starting up in Japan.
“We’re opening up to all conversations at this point in time,” Milne said.
“We’ve requested for information out to the market where we want the manufacturers to come back with what their planes can do.
“So once we have all that information, we can start looking at the third options and then work out our time frame of how we can finance that and replace them.”
Milne, when responding to the performance of Embraer’s demonstration flight earlier on Monday, said the take-off was more important to them from an operations performance perspective.
“The take-off shows that the plane can operate on a very short runways which is exactly what we need in the PNG environment.
“So that was a great aircraft performance.”
Meanwhile, Embraer’s Asia Pacific commercial aviation vice-president Cesar Pereira said the aircraft’s visit to the country was part of its global demonstration tour.
It has toured many cities as they prepare for its delivery to the first customer by end of this year.
The aircraft can carry up to 146 passengers.

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