Papua New Guinea-based carrier PNG Air has agreed a deal for five additional ATR 72-600s. The $134m order represents a partial conversion of the 14 outstanding options the carrier agreed in 2014 alongside a firm commitment for six examples. The airline took delivery of its first ATR 72-600 last November and now operates four examples with a fifth due to arrive before the end of the year.
Muralee Siva, Chief Executive Officer of PNG Air, said: “The entry into service of our brand new, modern ATR -600s clearly supports our strategy to transform our business by modernising our fleet and offering Papua New Guinea a new standard of domestic air service that is more comfortable and dependable. We will progressively phase out our previous-generation turboprops to introduce an aircraft that has become a reference on the regional market worldwide.”
The five additional ATR 72-600s are being acquired under PNG Air’s new long-term strategy that will see the carrier increase its focus on the domestic market. This also includes expansion into corporate transportation, supporting businesses aiming to develop their activities in Papua New Guinea.
ATR’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Christian Scherer, commented: “This further proof of confidence from an airline that has recently started operating our ATR -600 is very significant for us. We are proud to contribute to PNG Air’s development strategy by providing them with a flexible, modern and cost-efficient solution for their various operations. The robustness of our new ATR -600s, along with their ability to operate in remote areas, are great assets for the airline.”
PNG Air’s five new ATR 72-600s will be joined by an additional leased example, increasing the airline’s total ATR fleet to 12 when the last aircraft is delivered in 2022.