BAe 146 serves New Guinea

National Jet Systems is operating a BAe 146 between Cairns and Port Moresby on behalf of Air Niugini. The New Guinea airline arranged for NJS to take over the route after noise regulations forced it retire the Fokker F28 it had been using at the end of March. The NJS 146 also occasionally operates domestic services within New Guinea. Air Niugini had wet-leased an Avro RJ70 from NJS in 1999-2000. Last year, a committee recommended replacing the airline’s F28s (which continue to be used on domestic flights in New Guinea). The report argued that the BAe 146 has “much better short field performance than the F-28” and that “lease rates of these aircraft are the lowest in their class.” Moreover, support is readily available thanks to the large BAe 146 fleet in nearby Australia. Air Niugini, however, has delayed a decision on replacing the F28s and opted to buy a Fokker 100 for the Cairns route. The NJS 146 will operate the route until the end of June, when the Fokker 100 will be available.

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