We reckon, unless you lived in the regions this airline flies to, you wouldn’t have heard of an airline with over 40 years of flying behind it. The national airline of Papua New Guinea has always been seen as an airline not of choice, but necessity. However, things have changed for Air Niugini with an update to their international cabins, already released on their 767 fleet and being released on their 737 fleet shortly. Whilst still not the international quality you would expect of a legacy carrier, the airline has invested into a product that is now decent enough for their mid-long haul destinations.
In economy of the planes, decorated by a beautiful tail-fin logo of the national bird “bird of Paradise”, the 767 standard 2 x 3 x 2 seating can be found, but now each seat features AVOD, and refreshed seats. We aren’t so sure about the grey and red combo, or the old style overhead bins, but it’s safe to say these seats with AVOD will keep you amused for your journey to mid-haul destinations such as Hong Kong (or rumoured to be announced, Auckland) But looking at these photos, try not to get yourself on the row in front of the emergency exit doors over the wing, as you’ll be sat right next to the toilet.
The business class cabin is where the airline has invested most of their time, larger AVOD screens feature on all of the 28 seats, in a 2 x 1 x 2 seating arrangement. The middle seats, whilst solitary, are more likely to be knocked from passing footfall during the flight, as the cabin aisles are quite narrow. The seats are lie-flat, not fully flat, but still offer enough comfort for the shorter nature of the flights on the network. The cabin reminds us of a less stylish version of SIlverJet, the all premium airline that sadly become bankrupt.
Most complaints of frequent travellers are the poor service levels and delays the airline suffers from (although we can’t vouch for this, none of the team here have had the pleasure of flying with them yet.) As long as the airline can get these potential issues in check, the airline may be an airline of choice in the near future, although strictly speaking their only real competition is all-prop airline Airlines PNG, which may be why they haven’t invested as heavily or successfully into their product as other pacific airlines such as Fiji Airways.