Air Niugini Completes Solomon Airlines Aircraft Overhaul
National flag carrier Air Niugini announced the completion of heavy maintenance checks (C Checks) on its first international customer Solomon Airlines Dash 8 aircraft Managing director Alan Milne announced this yesterday following the maintenance of the Solomon Airlines Dash 8 which is now completed and ready to be returned to the owners.
This initiative is being driven by Mr Milne who has been an engineer and has indentified huge potential in the talent within the Air Niugini engineering and maintenance teams.
Mr Milne said PNG’s geographic location talent and infrastructure made it a logical option for airline servicing for operators in Australia, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. “We have some of the best talent in the engineering space that I’ve seen in my 40 years in the aviation industry.
But beyond that, financially it makes sense to consider the Air Niugini MRO when airline operators are spending millions of dollar to have their aircraft serviced as far away as Europe,” Mr Milne said. He added that the MRO facility has already completed its first full service on Solomon Airlines’s Dash 8 that will be delivered back to the operator this week.
Milne said the contract for Air Niugini to do the C Checks was won in a competitive pitch process and has been completed more than a week early. Mr Milne said going forward the service centre will specialise in C Checks which is a mandatory major inspection of all aircraft after a certain period of time and flight hours.
Typically these are carried out every two to three years. A and B checks are done every two to six months. Heavy maintenance checks can take up to five months to complete with technicians inspecting all structure and components of the aircraft.
This MRO facility is based at Jackson Airport in Port Moresby and will specialise in a range of aircraft including the Dash 8 and Fokker aircraft.
Milne said prior to the Air Niugini facility opening for external airlines, carriers previously had to fly their fleets of aircraft to other service hubs in Asia and as far away as Europe.
“This opportunity will also give Air Niugini a new income stream that will massively contribute to the financial security of the PNG’s national airline,” he said.