Papua New Guinea’s Link PNG Takes New Dash 8-400

Today, Papua New Guinea carrier and subsidiary of Air Niugini, Link PNG, has taken delivery of a single De Havilland Dash 8-400. While this unit is new to the airline, it’s actually over 13 years old, having had its first test flight in 2007. This particular turboprop was to be delivered in 2019, but delays, made worse by the global health crisis, have pushed back the timeline for this aircraft’s entry into the Link PNG fleet.

Dash 8-400
Air Niugini has operated Dash 8 aircraft before.  Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons

Current aircraft details

News of the aircraft delivery came from Nordic Aviation Capital’s (NAC) website in a December 5th press release. The Danish aircraft lessor confirmed delivery of one De Havilland Dash 8-400, MSN 4184, to Link PNG on lease.

NAC states that up to this point, travel restrictions saw the delivery postponed. However, the lessor states that “the improving conditions and easing of restrictions in Papua New Guinea have allowed for the delivery to take place,” adding “MSN 4184 is the final aircraft to deliver as part of a two aircraft transaction.”

At this time, data is unavailable regarding the aircraft’s actual registration. This might possibly be because this has yet to be assigned by the civil aviation authorities in Papua New Guinea. However, we are fairly certain that the aircraft’s registration will begin with the nationality mark of Papua New Guinea, P2.

Photos of the aircraft, taken at a date unknown, have shown the Dash 8 in Air Niugini livery with the lessor’s registration, OY-YCY. We’re unfortunately unable to share these visuals due to copyright.

Dash 8 -400
The De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 flew with Air Berlin from 2014 to 2017. Photo: Jeroen Stroes Aviation Photography via Wikimedia Commons 

As far as we know, the aircraft is configured in an all-economy layout with 74 seats. According to data, the layout has remained unchanged for most of the aircraft’s time in service. However, in 2011 it was listed as having 72 seats whilst flying with Swiss carrier SkyWork Airlines.

Previous operators the aircraft has flown with include:

  • Lynx Aviation (USA)
  • Frontier Airlines (USA)
  • Skyservice Business Aviation (Canada)
  • Air Berlin and Eurowings (whilst actually being operated by LGW – Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter) (Germany)

The turboprop then went to Nordic Aviation Capital at the beginning of 2020.

Dash 8-200
Link PNG is a subsidiary of Air Niugini and has its own AOC. Photo: Paul Nelhams via Wikimedia Commons 

Link PNG is a regional carrier and subsidiary of Air Niugini. Its fleet is based out of Port Moresby Jacksons International Airport.

Air Niugini flight PX56
Air Niugini is, unfortunately, known for its 2018 Flight 73, which saw a 737-800 land short of the Chuuk International Airport runway in Micronesia, which resulted in a water-landing and this famous photo. Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Zach Niezgodski via Wikimedia Commons

The subsidiary itself was established as part of the airlines’ restructuring and operates on a separate air operator’s certificate (AOC). It serves provincial and district routes across Papua New Guinea.

Have you ever flown with Air Niugini or Link PNG? Share your experience of the airline by leaving a comment!