DALLAS — Airbus and Air Niugini (PX) have announced that the Port Moresby International Airport (POM)-based carrier has signed a firm order for six Airbus A220-100s. PX will also acquire two Airbus A220-100s and three Airbus A220-300s from third-party lessors, bringing the carrier’s total to 11 A220s. The order is part of PX’s fleet modernization plans.
Air Niugini will deploy these aircraft on its short- to medium-haul routes, primarily across its domestic and Asia-Pacific network. The A220-100 can accommodate up to 135 passengers, while the A220-300 can accommodate up to 150 passengers. It has also chosen to include a flight planning support system from Airbus subsidiary NAVBLUE for its fleet. Dubbed N-Flight Planning (N-FP), the system will help PX optimize time, fuel, and cost, as well as ensure safety and compliance.
The order was announced at a special event in Port Moresby, New Guinea, that included Air Niugini’s acting Chief Executive Officer Gary Seddon and Airbus Asia-Pacific President Anand Stanley. Moreover, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, and the Minister for State Enterprises, William Duma, were also in attendance.
Seddon, via an Airbus press release, said, “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.”
Minister Duma added, “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.”
PX initially announced its plan to acquire 11 A220s in August over social media. The post stated that the A220s will arrive starting in 2025. These A220s will replace its aging Fokker fleet, which includes seven Fokker 100s and six Fokker 70s. Of these 13 aircraft, four Fokker 100s and four Fokker 70s are currently in service.
The A220 order is complemented by PX’s recent order in August for two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. These 787s are expected to be delivered in 2026 and will replace PX’s aging Boeing 767s, of which they currently operate two Boeing 767-300ERs.
This fleet modernization is overdue as the 767s are 28 years old, the Fokkers have an average age of 30, and the single 737-800 is 19 years old.
Featured Image: Air Niugini A220. Photo: Airbus