AIRLINES PNG (APNG) yesterday announced a further expansion to its fleet with the purchase of a De Havilland DH8-100 (Dash 8) aircraft from Canadian operator North Cariboo Flying Service, The National reports.
These announcements come on the heels of the recently announced financial results for last year and the airline’s K27.2 million improvement in operating performance from the 2009 financial year.
The aircraft will be delivered later this month and will bring the company’s total Dash 8 fleet to 12.
APNG also welcomed back earlier this month a Twin Otter (TO) aircraft from maintenance in the US while another TO recently bought in January was due to enter service later this month.
This would bring the TO fleet to 10 aircraft and the total APNG fleet to 22 aircraft.
As the largest corporate charter airline in PNG, APNG flies contract charters for almost every major resource company in the country and is ExxonMobil’s exclusive fixed wing charter airline for the PNG LNG programme.
While this involvement in the major resource sector growth has fuelled much of the airline’s expansion, scheduled services continue to grow at an encouraging rate signalling the general improvement in business confidence in the country.
“We have been greatly encouraged by the growth in the market and the feedback received from our charter clients in particular,” Scott Roworth, APNG chief commercial officer said.
“The airline’s charter customers have no easy task in making air travel decisions which ultimately affect their operating performance and bottom line.
To have the lion’s share of the charter market is a reflection of the commitment we make to serving our customers’ specific needs and understanding their businesses. Our fleet expansion plans will further improve our customer service for charter and scheduled service passengers alike.”