NATIONAL flag carrier Air Niugini is set to buy two new Dash 8-Q400 next generation aircraft to improve its domestic services.
This followed the signing of the purchase agreement between Air Niugini chief executive officer Wasantha Kumarasiri and Toronto, Canada-based Bombardier’s vice-president for sales in Asia/Pacific region, Trung Ngo, in Port Moresby last week.
Mr Kumarasiri said the cost of the aircraft would be made known later.
Bombardier is a Dash 8 aircraft manufacturing company.
Mr Kumarasiri said the two aircraft would enhance Air Niugini’s domestic services by ensuring reliability and on time performance.
The new generation Dash 8-Q400 is considered one of the fastest propeller-operated aircraft with 74 seats and burns less fuel.
Although a propeller-driven aircraft, the speed of a Dash 8-Q400 is almost close to a Fokker F100 aircraft.
The Air Niugini CEO said based on the financial capability in the past, Air Niugini, on many occasions, acquired used aircraft to carry out its operations.
However, this new aircraft acquisition now sets a new direction for the airline.
The purchase would boost Air Niugini’s effort to improve schedule reliability and
redundancy, should other aircraft go through maintenance, or become unserviceable due to defects.
It was understood that the new aircraft are expected for delivery middle of next year.