By EMMANUEL MAIPE
Air Niugini has welcomed to its fleet of aircraft a new Boeing 737- 700 series aircraft to boost its capacity to serve international routes, The National reports.
The new B737 is on a long-term lease from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise.
|The New Boeing 737 being given the traditional welcoming ceremony by being hosed down by two fire trucks as it makes its way in.- Nationalpic by EKAR KEAPU|
Tts arrival to Port Moresby on Wednesday, has increased the number of aircraft fleet owned by the airline company to 22.
This includes the Dash 8- 100/200/300 series, Q400, Fokker 100, and the Boeing 767 aircraft.
The aircraft will operate international routes with the initial flights to the Australian ports of Brisbane, and Sydney, and then it will operate on Air Niugini’s newest route to Cebu in the Philippines.
There will be two direct flights to Cebu in a week, one on Tuesdays and one on Thursdays.
The aircraft’s inaugural flight will be to Cebu next Monday.
The aircraft may also service domestic routes once some airport infrastructure in the country is completed.
Officiating at the welcoming ceremony yesterday, Prime Minister Peter O’Neil said the B737 was the first of its type to be operated by Air Niugini.
“This Boeing 737 is the first to be operated by Air Niugini,” he said.
“With its versatility, range performance and low operating costs, this aircraft I am told, will be utilised on the high demand domestic routes when our airport infrastructure is ready.”
O’Neil also praised Air Niugini’s board and management for their commitment to maintain services to the people of PNG and foreigners despite difficulties faced by the company.
“Let me commend Air Niugini board, management and staff for their sheer commitment and hard work in ensuring continuous growth and expansion of Air Niugini, our national asset,” he said.
“I have noted that Air Niugini has achieved with an unprecedented growth, from a nearly-insolvent airline to a profitable airline, increasing its aircraft fleet, routes, frequencies and profitability.
“Within last six years the airline has created over 800 new jobs for the people of PNG.”
Mean time, Air Niugini board is planning to acquire additional aircrafts to its fleet.
The board plans on getting three new Q400, and one more B737- 700, one DHC8-200, and two ATR freighter aircrafts before the end of this year.