Room Service Waiter in Port Moresby
Your arrival at the Port Moresby Airport in Papua New Guinea is guaranteed to scare the hell out of you. Guaranteed. The airport terminal is a ramshackle hut packed with filthy people reaching out to you and absolutely no organization. PNG gets less than 5000 tourists annually, so nobody knows what to do with the white people.
Are they good to eat?
A decrepit taxi outside the terminal will shuttle you into town and drop you at the finest hotel in the country, a deterioraing, darkened shell more reminiscent of Somalia than anything else.
Where are those Blackhawks when you really need them?
You pass burning fields, large gangs of raskals hanging around the streets, which are largely abandoned in the late afternoon.
A city destroyed.
The hotel lobby has few lights and smells like a collapsed casualty of some long-running war. Your bellman isn't wearing shoes. You must stay here three weeks.
Welcome to New Guinea.
There is a new player on the PNG international flight market and about time I have to say. Air Niugini has had their monopoly for far too long and are keeping the prices extremely high.
The new mob is Airlines PNG. A second level domestic carrier in PNG that are now offering flights from Port Moresby to Cairns starting at the end of this week. It looks at this stage like they are starting small with the idea (my speculation) to build it up into something bigger.
The good news is for all the budget conscious travellers - and who isn't - is that their fares will be K299 (approx Au$125) one way for an inflexible ticket and K459 (approx Au$190) for a flexible fare. The bad news, and as is usually hidden in the small print, is that the taxes will be K359.
They are also, if you are quick off the mark, offering a one off K99 deal for this Friday, one way from POM to CNS and the return on Monday for the same price. Unfortunately the taxes still stick at same rate (if anyone really knows what these taxes cover let me know).
The plane they are going to use is a simple DASH-8, a small twin prop thing which I have flown in once before (Port Moresby to Popondetta for the Kokoda Track), but still it is better than nothing. And they are not that uncomfortable either.
Hopefully I see this leading onto bigger and better things, and more competition in the international market. I think PNG laws state that only a PNG airline can fly internationally, hence why we have only had Air Niugini and their inflated ticket prices.
Papua New Guinea Life Link