Air Niugini (PX, Port Moresby) is set to resume Dash 8-400 operations after an almost three-year hiatus with two of the type due to deliver to the Papuan carrier shortly.

"We are pleased to announce that we will be getting two new Q400s back to the Air Niugini operations,” Managing Director Alan Milne told local daily The National.

He clarified that the two De Havilland Aircraft of Canada turboprops will be used to expand the fleet rather than replace other aircraft as they can operate from remote airports which cannot handle jets. However, he underscored that the Dash 8s are only a temporary measure given the carrier still has to take a decision on its long-term regional fleet strategy.

According to Scramble magazine, the first Dash 8-400 heading to Air Niugini is msn 4196, formerly N196WQ with Republic Airlines. The 12-year-old aircraft was reportedly ferried from Muskoka to Toronto Pearson on November 26 ahead of its delivery flight to Papua New Guinea.

According to Skyliner Aviation, the second unit is msn 4184, previously operated by LGW - Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (HE, Dortmund) as D-ABQL. The aircraft was ferried from Düsseldorf to Maastricht on December 18, 2019.

Air Niugini ended Dash 8-400 operations in May 2017. At that time, the airline said that the speed and range of its Fokker 70s gave the type a significant advantage over the turboprops.

The carrier's current fleet includes one B737-700, one B737-800, two B767-300(ER)s, seven Fokker 100s, and seven Fokker 70s. Its subsidiary, Link PNG (Port Moresby), operates five Dash 8-300s and three Dash 8-200s, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows.