web Musings of The Global Traveller

Monday, June 08, 2009

How to get to | Papua New Guinea

This is part of a series of blog entries on how to get to countries and places. Here is a link to the index. I plan to eventually cover every country and some other places. If you have a request for a particular country or place please use the email me link at top right, or leave a comment.

Papua New Guinea

Source: Wikimedia Commons

There are not many ways to get to Papua New Guinea (PNG). A few airlines fly to Port Moresby, mostly from Australia:
  • Star Alliance - none
  • Oneworld - none (Qantas flights are codeshares on Air Niugini)
  • Sky Team - none
  • Other selected - Air Niugini (from several Australian, Pacific and Asian cities), Airlines PNG (from Cairns and Brisbane), Pacific Blue (from Brisbane)

With no alliance flights to Papua New Guinea it is impossible to include on an around the world fare and almost impossible to include on awards (see the tip below for the one exception).

Flights to Port Moresby still require paper tickets - it is one of the few major airports in the world still unable to handle e-tickets. Despite the limited number of international flights Port Moresby is a major airport because flying is the main way to travel in PNG - the combined length of all the airports is about the same as the combined length of all paved roads in the country!

TIP Fares to Papua New Guinea are generally high or very high. Low cost airline Pacific Blue started flights in 2009 and it is hoped will bring down air fares in general.

TIP Qantas Frequent Flyer points can be used on the Air Niugini flights between Australia and Port Moresby (but not for internal Papua New Guinea flights or flights to Asia & Pacific). These offer great value compared with fares. Less points are required from Cairns than from Brisbane or Sydney.


mauswara said...

Air Niugini issues and accepts e-tickets. It is an IATA member and all IATA members must have e-ticketing. I assume that since Airlines of PNG has online bookings for the Brisbane and Cairns flights that it must also accept e-tickets for at least these sectors.

The Global Traveller said...

When I flew Air Niugini last month I was required to have a paper ticket. Other people checking in on the same flights at the next counter (at both Cairns and Port Moresby) also had paper tickets.

I was told that Port Moresby does not have the systems to handle e-tickets.

lapun masta said...

My last trip to PNG was in Jan. I travelled on e- tickets issued over the internet by APNG/Virgin Pacific. Last year when I travelled with Qantas they issued paper tickets

pineappleskip said...

I am based in Port Moresby and travel regularly, both domestically in PNG and to from Australia. All on Air Niugini so far, or on Qantas codeshare seats. I have never travelled any of these sectors on a paper ticket yet. Etickets are routine AFAIK.

The Global Traveller said...

Thanks for the comments. It is odd some tickets (including mine) are being issued on paper while others are able to be e-tickets.

mauswara said...

Both Air Niugini and Qantas are full IATA members.

On 1 June 2008, the industry moved to 100% electronic ticketing (ET), one of IATA's Simplifying the Business projects.

Therefore to have been issued with a paper ticket it must have been done via a non-IATA representative. I would prefer to travel using an IATA accredited company.