OK I will kick off with the fact that I love Papua New Guinea and indeed its people, but that does not mean everything is perfect. For a start Port Moresby is extremely dangerous, there is basically no police force, the national airline is a joke and there is huge corruption.
Nestled among with all these points is the fact that Port Moresby Airport, or rather Jackson International Airport is perhaps the worst in the whole continent,.
The Port Moresby Airport Story
The national sport of Papua New Guinea, it is also the best, but when you are comparing to Lae, or Buka you really are not in good company. It does though have at least an international section, as well as a local airport.
The airport is also used fro transit if you are really unlucky, usually to Honiara in the Solomon Islands, or even Cairns in Australia.
To read about the Republic of North Solomon’s click here.
Where can you go from Port Moresby International Airport?
The main destinations with regards to regularity are Manila, which Air Niugini flies from, as well as Philippines Airlines. Ooh destinations include Cairns in Oz, Singapore and most recently Hong Kong, which I wish I had flown to….
Oh FYI and while we will cover this later Air Niugini are extremely unreliable and should be avoided at literally all costs……..
Port Moresby International Airport
The international side of things does not allow smoking, so cross number one. They have shops and restaurants here, but they are alkyl expensive and not very good. Couple this with no wi-fi, plug sockets that have no power and even tables without tables.
The people here though are at least and they even recognize me as paiawaraman.
Oh and the lounge here does not allow Priority Pass and even if it did the lounge here has next to no food……
Port Moresby Domestic Airport
If the international side is shit, then domestic side is very shit and for a number of reasons. Again there is a really bad lounge that doe snot give access to hardly anyone. Food wise there is three literally identical shops that sell drinks and pies. If you do not do drinks and pies you are shit out of luck at Port Moresby Domestic Terminal……
But what is it that makes Port Moresby airport so god damned bad? Quite frankly it is the intense amount of corruption, which we shall cover in the next section.
Corruption at Port Moresby Airport
PNG corruption is bad, but the national airport of the country seems to be the epicenter. So, where to start? Well the first time that I ever came here I was charged $150 just to leave. In 2022 I knew 2 people who had cash stolen from their bags and this year? YOu had to pay even to get on a flight.
This was because of the absolute stupidness of Air Niugini, but it created a system where the only way to get on a plane, with your luggage was to pay a bribe. Turns out if you book 150 people on a 70 seater plane some will miss out.
And the solution for Port Moresby Airport? Well I would make Castro roll in his grave, but more competition and less state involvement would help not just with the service and quality, but also perhaps with the prices, which are ridiculous.
This has already been seen with PAL flights now giving Air Niugini a run for their money out of Manila. Sadly though this is unlikely to happen any time soon and for now going to Port Moresby Airport is a necessary evil if you want to Visit Papua New Guinea.