PNG’s Hevilift adds two new ATR planes
Regional Aviation Group, through its Papua New Guinea subsidiary company Hevilift, is expanding its fixed wing aircraft fleet, adding two ATR 42-320s to meet the growing travel requirements of resources companies.
The 45-seat ATRs, the first to be introduced by Regional Aviation Group, have become the largest capacity aircraft in the company’s combined fixed wing and helicopter fleet.
The first has just entered service on routes including from the PNG capital, Port Moresby, to the resources island of Lihir, while the second is scheduled to enter service in March.
“The PNG resources industry is booming, with current projects expanding and new projects beginning,” said Peter Todd, Group Manager Sales, Marketing and Contracts for the Regional Aviation Group.
“The ATRs will be based in Port Moresby, and will increase significantly our ability to provide transportation for our resources clients between key centres in PNG,” said Mr Todd.
“Each aircraft offers 25 seats - or 125 per cent – more capacity than what is currently our largest fixed-wing aircraft, the 20 seat DHC-6-300 Twin Otter,” he said.
“And although the ATRs are much larger than our current fixed wing fleet, they can still access regional airfields at resources sites throughout PNG, delivering not only more seats in key markets, but greater efficiency and convenience for our customers.”
The two ATRs join a fixed wing fleet of DeHavilland Twin Otters and five helicopter types.
Guillaume Huertas, ATR Sales Director Australia and South Pacific, said the ATR 42-320 was ideal for the missions required by Hevilift. “As well as adding capacity within PNG, the ATRs bring both a new level of comfort for passengers and the ability to offer more nonstop services, particularly on longer routes,” he said.
Hevilift plans to operate the ATR 42s to nine destinations in PNG, with sectors ranging from 30 minutes on the Mt Hagen - Goroka route to two hours, 15 minutes between Port Moresby and Lihir.
The aircraft also will serve locations as diverse as Buka and Misima Islands, Madang on the north east coast of mainland PNG and Goroka in the highlands. And they will be offered for passenger or freight charters between PNG and Cairns.