I have accidentally stumble across a few pictures taken during a trip to Papua New Guinea last September, and there is probably enough material to write a flight report. I warn the avid reader that there is no pictures of food in this report :-)!
I elect to fly via Brisbane although there is an Air Niugini direct flight via SYD twice a week, because its schedule does not work for the short trip I need to make. The good news is that the Brisbane / Port Moresby flights are operated by Air Niugini flagship 767, more comfortable than the 737 SYD services.
Due to security aspect a lot of business travellers manage to fly to Port Moresby just for a day, using the Qantas service from Cairns, which leaves in the morning and return in the evening.
This is my second trip to Port Moresby.
THis trip report covers the following itinerary:
737-8FE VH-VOS VA931 09-Sep-14 SYD/BNE 28D VIRGIN AUSTRALIA 767-341ER P2-PXV PX00 4 09-Sep-14 BNE/POM 3F BUS AIR NIUGINI 767-341ER P2-PXV PX004 11-Sep-14 POM/BNE 4C BUS AIR NIUGINI 737-8FE VH-YIV VA992 11-Sep-14 BNE/SYD 3F VIRGIN AUSTRALIA
Is it a beautiful spring Monday in SYD. Virgin Australia domestic flights are board using both the aerobridge and the rear door which requires a walk on the tarmac. I am not unhappy about that. There is a nice line up of heavies in the background. These aircraft have arrivied early in the morning from all over the world and are parked at remove bays until they are prepared for their return journey and reconnected to the aerobridge for departure.
I have done my domestic check in with my phone and the boarding pass is pushed to my Passbook app. I board the plane scanning my phone myself, and I show my mobile phone boarding pass to the crew. Having no baggage to check on this trip, I have managed to board and take my seat without human intervention…pretty sexy!
Virgin Australia IFE system is available via an App on your mobile device (Phone or tablet). Quite convenient in fact. This is the air show:
After transfering from the domestic to the international terminal, I discover my aircraft. A 767-300ER registered P2-PXV. This aicraft previous was operated by Amiri Flight and Etihad (A6-EYZZ) during a gig in the Middle East.
The business class section is completely decadent, with huge seat pitch and very unsual 2 x 1 x 2 configuration. The flight is light in front, thus I have no one next to me.
Tracking the flight on Flightaware
Take off from BNE, our shadow on the grass…
A high definition screen for a pleasant air show experience. The IFE system is the same as that of Air Tahiti Nui, with just a handful of movies to choose from
The Papua New Guinea coast line. Not far from paradise. That side of the main island does not get as much rain as other part, thus the brown aspect of the grass
We flight just over downtown Port Moresby
Sharp right turn. We can see the runway and the airport in the distance
The lobby area of the Airways Hotel
The view from the main restaurant of the Airways Hotel, overlooking the airport. Not a bad view for a beautiful early morning breakfast.
During my stay I had the best Tuna sashimi…..
The Air Niugini logo at the entrance of their head quarter located near the airport in Port Moresby.
Time to leave. A few local aircraft following us… Sadly I am flying on the same 767 aircraft as my inbound flight…..argh….
About to start our descent to Brisbane Airport
Bonus: The Sailing Club in Port Moresby. An oasis for the expat community. A very British colonial feel to that establishment
The plane I flew with on my first trip to Port Moresby in April 2011. A 757-200 The 757 is a very rare visitor in the South West Pacific skies. Currently there is no 757 scheduled passenger services into Australia. Only DHL runs a 757 freighter across the Tasman. See the Pacific Blue 737 in the background. Virgin has since been rebranded Virgin Australia across its domestic and international network, and terminated V Australia, Pacific Blue and Virgin Blue.
The room at the Gateway Hotel where I stayed the first time. Both the Airways and the Gateway are located very near the airport.
The 767 I flew with when returning (to BNE) during my first visit, at the ramp in BNE in April 2012
Brisbane - BNE
Port Moresby - POM
A very pleasant trip to Port Moresby. Sadly the city is rather unsafe, thus I only saw the hotel and the meeting room of the company I was visiting. I had had a look at the city (car locked, and we did not stop at the light...) during my previous trip. Not a place you want to walk or break down.... However the surroundings is just magnificent. Beach, bays, rolling hills, palm and coconut trees everywhere....A rough town on the surface, but paradise underneath...
Air Niugini service was impeccable. The cabin of the 767 is very spacious. On the way back I was initially seated on that stand along middle seat, with aisle on both side. But quickly changed for a window seat as having aisle on both side offers no privacy and is not very comfortable in that respect. The food was ok, and the crew very friendly.
Brisbane Airport is a great place to be, whether your journey starts or terminates there, or your transit. The domestic and international terminals are a few km apart, but there is a bus and a train services that run very frequently.
Port Moresby Airport is pretty shaby. You just want to get out of it as quickly as you can. Fortunately they are pretty efficient processing passengers. For departure, again you just want to spend as less time as possible in the airport. There is nothing to see or do. The lounge is ok and offers free wifi, however it is small and get pretty crowded. The food in the lounge is made of snacks mainly.
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