US aircraft manufacturer Boeing and Air Niugini have announced a deal which features the order of two fuel-efficient 787-8 Dreamliners, enabling the carrier to expand its long-haul fleet.

The aircraft will allow Papua New Guinea’s national flag carrier to operate additional routes from the Pacific Island nation and increase capacity for incoming travellers.

The capacity of the 787-8 in a normal two-class configuration spans a range of 7,305 nautical miles (13,530km).

According to Boeing, more than 1,600 Dreamliners have been ordered by more than 85 customers worldwide, making the 787 Dreamliner the fastest-selling widebody aircraft in history.

Air Niugini CEO Gary Seddon stressed the airline’s worldwide expansion capability as a result of this new deal: “Signing this contract with Boeing for the purchase of two modern, widebody 787 Dreamliners will enable Air Niugini to grow its network across Asia, Australia and New Zealand and fulfil its mission as the premier airline in Papua New Guinea, providing the best air service in the region.”

The 787 Dreamliner, which is made of lightweight composite materials and propelled by sophisticated engines, can carry up to 20% more people than seen in previous aircraft.

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Boeing VP of commercial sales and marketing in Southeast Asia and Oceania Erika Pearson demonstrates the expansion of Air Niugini’s reach due to this deal with Boeing: “The excellent capability of the 787 allows Air Niugini to open Port Moresby to more destinations, increasing tourism and economic growth in the South Pacific region.

“The Dreamliner’s flexibility, outstanding efficiency and unmatched passenger comfort will enable Air Niugini to provide improved long-haul connectivity to the islands.” 

Air Niugini provides a local network across Papua New Guinea from Port Moresby, as well as international flights across the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Fiji.

This partnership extends Boeing’s collaboration with Air Niugini, which has been running for almost 45 years.

Furthermore, Boeing has stated that the aircraft uses 25% less fuel and emits 25% less pollution than any aircraft it succeeds, making the Dreamliner family an environmentally friendly option.

Boeing president and CEO David L. Calhoun stated in the 2022 Sustainability report how he predicts the future Boeing’s aviation sector to look like by 2050.

Calhoun said: “By 2050, our industry sees a world where air travel will carry over 10 billion passengers a year, support 180 million jobs and generate nearly $9 trillion in economic activity, all while furthering our goal of minimising the impact on our planet and striving to achieve the commercial aviation industry’s ambition of net-zero carbon emissions.”