Air Niugini itself was formed in 1973 as the national carrier of Papua New Guinea. Initially international servies were operated by a Boeing 720 and later a pair of 707s and the airline always had a strong relationship with Qantas and Australia.
In November 1984 they leased VH-TAA 'James Cook', a 1981 delivered A300B4, from Trans Australia and as P2-ANG she operated with them until her return to what was by then Australian Airlines in June 1989.
Air Niugini replaced her with a pair of A310s which no doubt had superior range, but sadly they never wore the stunning bird of paradise scheme applied to the A300. The aircraft herself joined Qantas in 1993 (when Australian was merged into it) and in 1998 became N370PC when she was sold to Pace Cargo and converted to a freighter. As of 2009 she still serves but now as A6-MDF with Midex Airlines.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: