Air Niugini (PX, Port Moresby) is in the process of choosing a replacement for its fleet of Fokker Aircraft regional jets and is evaluating Embraer E2 aircraft.

The carrier said on its Facebook page that it requested the manufacturer to make a stop at Port Moresby airport during its E195-E2 marketing tour of the Asia-Pacific region. The demo aircraft, PR-ZIQ (msn 19020041) landed in the Papua New Guienean capital on July 22 from Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l and departed later on the same day to Brisbane Int'l.

Managing Director Alan Milne was quoted as saying that while the E2s were one of the options, Air Niugini was also looking at other types and had not made any decisions yet.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the PNG flag carrier currently operates seven Fokker 100s and seven Fokker 70s. Milne told ch-aviation earlier this year that the replacement of the regional fleet, which also includes two Dash 8-200s and six Dash 8-300s, was one of a few projects for the carrier. Air Niugini is also preparing for the replacement of its two B767-300(ER)s, one B737-700, and one B737-800.

Separately, the Papua New Guinea Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has proposed to reject Air Niugini's application for a codeshare with Philippine Airlines (PR, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l) on the Port Moresby-Manila route.

"[The ICCC] concluded that the POM/MNL route is already competitive; and introduction of this proposed code-share will stifle the current level of competition and reduce the current levels of benefits realized by the travelling public," the authority said.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, Air Niugini currently operates 5x weekly between Port Moresby and Manila, while Philippine Airlines serves the route 4x weekly. There are no other operators on the route.