Airlines PNG (Port Moresby) is rebranding as PNG Air with the delivery of the first new ATR 72-600. The company is replacing its older de Havilland Canada DHC-8-100 Dash 8 fleet with the new ATRs and has taken the opportunity to change its image.
According to the airline’s Chairman Murray Woo, “The Company’s capital was restructured so that the Company is now unambiguously PNG owned and a permanent part of the country’s infrastructure and economy. The decision was made to re-fleet with the ATR 72-600, meaning the airline will be the only carrier in the country servicing all major ports in the domestic market with new, efficient, highly reliable, state of the art aircraft. That will allow the airline for the first time to offer what is clearly the premium product on domestic routes.
We expect to have 3 brand new ATRs operating by February 2016 and 7 by December 2017. After that the plan is to replace all our Dash 8s and become a 100% ATR operator by 2020. The ATR is the only aircraft currently in production that can fly to all major ports in PNG. ATR have invested heavily to make their product by far the most widely chosen regional turboprop aircraft around the world.”
The company also commented on the decision to rebrand:
“The Board has also taken the decision to rebrand the airline, to reinvigorate its image. Re-fleeting gives the Company this opportunity, as a fleet of new, larger and more comfortable aircraft will improve public perception of the airline’s safety and service. Rebranding will reinforce that the airline is offering something new and genuinely improved. A new appearance will also emphasise improvements in the airline’s service culture.”
Copyright Photo: Eurospot. The pictured ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-600) F-WWEQ (msn 1287) will become P2-ATR on delivery. It displays the new brand.
Airlines PNG (Port Moresby) Bombardier DHC-8-102 P2-MCJ (msn 125) while operating flight CG 1600 yesterday (October 13) from Lae to Madang (Papua New Guinea), crashed about 12.4 miles (20 km) south of Madang and caught fire, killing 28 of the 32 passengers and crew on board. Airlines PNG has grounded its fleet of 12 DHC-8 aircraft following the accident.
The three survivors (including the two flight crew members) have been flown to Port Moresby.
The survivors include the Australian pilot, captain Bill Spencer, 64, and his New Zealander co-pilot, first officer Campbell Wagstaff according to this report by the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We are sad to confirm that there has been an accident involving an Airlines PNG Dash 8 aircraft near Madang late Thursday afternoon. Emergency services have been activated and Airlines PNG is co-operating with authorities to mount rescue and recovery efforts. There were 28 passengers and 4 crew members on board. There appear to be some survivors while a number of people remain unaccounted for. Airlines PNG is working with the emergency service authorities to confirm this information in more detail. A full investigation is underway by authorities and Airlines PNG as to the possible cause of the accident. Airlines PNG fully supports the action of local authorities at Lae who have quarantined aviation fuel at Lae airport from where the aircraft originated. Airlines PNG has also grounded its Dash 8 fleet of 12 aircraft until further notice. Our prayers and thoughts are now with all those affected by this very sad day for Papua New Guinea.”