Air Niugini signs order for 6 Airbus A220 aircraft

Render of an Air Niugini A220 in flight.
Image Credit: Airbus

Air Niugini, the national carrier of Papua New Guinea, has signed a firm order with Airbus for six latest generation single aisle A220-100s under its fleet modernisation programme.

In addition, the carrier will acquire three A220-300s and another two A220-100s from third party lessors. 
In a significant move to modernize its fleet and enhance its domestic and regional operations, Air Niugini, the national carrier of Papua New Guinea, recently inked the deal with manufacturer Airbus.

This acquisition was announced during a special event held in Port Moresby, graced by key dignitaries, including the Hon. James Marape, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, and Hon. William Duma, Minister for State Enterprises.

Fleet Modernization


Under its fleet modernization program, Air Niugini has placed a firm order for six A220-100s, the latest generation single-aisle aircraft, directly from Airbus.

Additionally, the airline is set to acquire three A220-300s and two A220-100s from third-party lessors.

The New Guinea flag carrier currently operates a Boeing jet fleet of 737 and 767 aircraft, with an average age of 20 and 28 years respectively, according to Planespotters data.

The airline also operates a complement of regional turboprop commuter aircraft

Unveiling the A220


The Airbus A220 series, known for its remarkable features, is poised to revolutionize Air Niugini’s jet operations.

Combining the longest range, lowest fuel consumption, and the widest cabin in the 100-150 seat category, the A220 is a good fit for Air Niugini’s domestic and regional routes.

With this new fleet, the airline will boost its capacity, improve reliability, and even explore new destinations within the Asia-Pacific region.

The Airbus A220 is the most modern airliner in its size category, capable of carrying between 100 to 150 passengers on flights of up to 3,450 nautical miles (6,390 km).

This aircraft comes in two variants: the A220-100 designed for the 100-135 seat market and the larger A220-300, perfectly tailored for the 120-150 seat market.

Gary Seddon, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Air Niugini, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “This is a milestone in the history of our national airline that will support the growth of trade and tourism in Papua New Guinea.”

“The new aircraft will offer the highest levels of comfort for our passengers, while also ensuring a significant reduction in fuel consumption and emissions when compared to the aircraft they will replace.”

A Momentous Occasion for PNG


Hon. William Duma, Minister for State Enterprises, also shared his excitement, saying, “This is a momentous occasion for Air Niugini.”

“Coinciding with the airline’s 50th Anniversary, Air Niugini secures six new regional jets that will revolutionize travel for the citizens of Papua New Guinea. I am looking forward to welcoming the ‘People’s Balus’ (the people’s plane) to our skies.”

Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, emphasized the remarkable advantages the A220 offers to Air Niugini.

He said, “Air Niugini has seen how much more the A220 brings to their airline than the competing product in this space, so much more efficiency, range, comfort, and growth potential.”

“We thank Air Niugini for its confidence in Airbus and are committed to offering our full support to the airline as it transitions to its new fleet.”

Flight Planning with NAVBLUE


Not only is Air Niugini upgrading its aircraft, but it’s also enhancing its operational efficiency. The airline has chosen Airbus subsidiary NAVBLUE’s flight planning support system, N-Flight Planning (N-FP), to optimize fuel consumption, save time, reduce costs, and ensure safety and compliance throughout its operations.

As of the end of September, Airbus had received over 800 orders from around 30 customers for the A220, with more than 280 already delivered.

Notably, the A220 is already in successful service with 17 airlines worldwide, underscoring its excellence in the aviation industry.

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