Papua New Guinea’s carrier, PNG Air, formerly Airlines PNG, marks the new era with the entry into service of their first ATR 72-600 aircraft, revealing the airline’s new look, with livery and interiors designed to reflect the nation’s heritage.
The aircraft is the first of seven ATR-600 series aircraft ordered in 2014, with six directly purchased by the airline. Deliveries of the remaining six aircraft will run into 2017. The carrier also holds options for another 14 aircraft.
The investment in new ATR aircraft will support PNG Air’s growth plans, marking an important phase in the airline’s restructuring and fleet renewal program. The new planes will gradually replace the fleet of ageing 36-seat turboprops. PNG Air will deploy its ATR 72-600s on routes over its regional network.
The newly delivered ATR aircraft took to the skies in a passenger-cargo “combi” layout. The recently certified “combi” configuration of the ATR aircraft allows combining cargo which nearly doubles its capacity with up to 44 passenger seats section providing PNG Air with greater operation flexibility. PNG Air has become the first airline to operate the ATR 72-600 aircraft in the “combi” configuration.
“The arrival of the new ATR 72-600 to our fleet will enable PNG Air to enhance its service offering and redefine regional travel in Papua New Guinea. The new ATRs are the cornerstone of the PNG Air new developments, offering exceptional operational flexibility with the right range and lowest costs,” said Muralee Siva, Chief Executive Officer of PNG Air. “Changing the corporate name from Airlines PNG to PNG Air is also a natural progression in the development of our airline investment.”
“We are proudly bringing the new ATR 72-600 to this very promising market together with PNG Air. The completion of the airline’s restructuring program, along with the fleet renewal, represent a new era for PNG Air giving a firm foundation for growth. We wish them good luck and look forward to more positive announcements in the future,” said Patrick de Castelbajac, Chief Executive Officer of ATR.
PNG Air’s ATR 72-600s will join a strong ATR presence in the Pacific, where the company’s aircraft underpin all fleet modernizations in the region.