Travel Advice – Coronavirus Travel Update

This page provides the latest information on travel restrictions, flight cancellations as well as travel requirements during the State Of Emergency (SOE). We are continually monitoring the situation, including travel restrictions and updates to travel policies that may impact you given the rapidly evolving nature of responses to COVID-19. The information is correct to the best of Air Niugini’s knowledge at the time of publication. Air Niugini reserves the right to add or update information at any time.

Procedures for booking travel during State of Emergency (SOE)

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

Air Niugini’s domestic flights are now open for travel to all airports in PNG except for Buka where prior approvals are still required from the Bougainville SOE Controller – see details here: Bougainville Emergency Order NO. 4 or contact AROB SOE Controller Approval at  arobcovodi10occ@gmail.com for further information.

Effective Tuesday 23rd June 2020, under the PNG National Pandemic Act 2020, these Domestic Travel Measures shall apply until the end of the Declaration of a Pandemic under the Act.

  1. All passengers travelling on Domestic flights are required under the PNG National Pandemic Act 2020 to complete the Air Passenger Travel Form (APTF). You can download the form here, have it completed, printed, signed and presented directly to the check-in staff. Alternatively, manual forms are made available at the Air Niugini Sales outlet or a Travel Agent for completion to present at check-in.
  2. The APTF form must be completed by each traveller. 
    1. The check-in agent will collect and retain this form for our records.
    2. Failure to present the completed APTF at check-in will result in denied boarding.
  3. Travellers will require the following for checking in to all domestic flights (including closed charters)
    1. Valid photo ID (NID, Passport, Drivers Licence, Work ID, Student ID, Super Fund Card)
    2. Completed APTF. You are required to provide the reason for travel on the APTF.
    3. No approvals are required for flights to any domestic locations other than Buka.

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

INBOUND FLIGHTS:

Air Niugini wishes to advise that under the current SOE, Conditional Approvals have been granted for Inbound International Travel, by the Commissioner of Police and Controller of the SOE PNG, per the following MANDATORY requirements.

Note – This applies to travel out the following international ports:

  1. Brisbane to Port Moresby
  2. Cairns to Port Moresby
  3. Singapore to Port Moresby
MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS

Effective Monday 22nd June 2020 under the PNG National Pandemic Act 2020, these International Travel Measures shall apply until the end of the Declaration of a Pandemic under the Act.

  1. No person is permitted to board an aircraft for bound for PNG unless provided an exemption in writing by the controller or his delegate
  2. No person is permitted to board an aircraft bound for PNG unless
    1. they have been tested for COVID19 within 14 day period prior to boarding an aircraft; and
    2. have returned a result indicating they do not have detectable levels of COVD-19.
  3. For the purposes of pointer #2, only real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction tests shall be accepted.
  4. Measures contained in pointers #2 and 3 shall not apply to persons approved to enter PNG on or prior to 20 June 2020 by Controller
  5. All PNG Citizens and Permanent Residents returning to  PNG must be quarantined at a:
    1. designated hotel in Port Moresby (i.e. Ponderosa Hotel, Hideaway Hotel, Lamana Hotel, Gateway and Peai Lodge), at the Government’s cost; or
    2. designated hotel (in Port Moresby (i.e. Holiday Inn Hotel, Ela Beach Hotel, Grand Papua Hotel, Laguna Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Stanley Hotel, Lamana Hotel and Airways Hotel), at the individual’s cost.
  6. All non-PNG Citizens and non-Permanent Residents returning to PNG must be quarantined at a designated hotel in Port Moresby (i.e. Holiday Inn Hotel, Ela Beach Hotel, Grand Papua Hotel, Laguna Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Stanley Hotel, Lamana Hotel and Airways Hotel), at the individual’s cost.
  7. Foreign diplomats travelling on a diplomatic travel document or diplomatic passport are exempted from the requirements in pointer #6 but must self-isolate at an appropriate residence for 14 days.
  8. For the purposes of pointer 7, failure to adhere to self-isolation for 14 days is not an offence under the National Pandemic Act 2020.
  9. For the purposes of pointer 8, an individual who fails to adhere to self-isolation for 14 days may be declared a personna non grata according to Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on the Diplomatic Relations.
  10. Upon arrival at the designated place, or at another located directed by the Controller,  a person must reside and remain in that place,  self-quarantined and segregated from other persons, for the period beginning on the day of arrival and ending at midnight on the fourteenth day after arrival into PNG.
  11. Any person currently in quarantine imposed under the National Pandemic Act 2020 must remain in quarantine until they have spent 14 days in quarantine, ending at midnight on the fourteenth day after arrival into PNG.
  12. A couple or family shall be quarantined together should they enter PNG on the same flight.
  13. Persons may leave a designated place prior to 14 days:
    1. for the purposes of obtaining emergency medical care;
    2. with authorisation of the Controller seeking non-emergency medical care or medical supplies;
    3. in an emergency situation; or
    4. for any reason approved in advance by the Controller or his delegate.
  14. A person arriving into PNG on any vessel is taken not to arrive in PNG for the purpose of these Measures if the person does not leave the plane of the immediate vicinity of the aircraft for the purposes of conducting pre-flight inspections and refuelling.
  15. The Controller may exempt a person from some or all the International Travel Measures, at his sole discretion and subject to conditions he imposes.
  16. Subject to pointer 15, for the purposes of pointers 5, 6, 10 and 11,  an individual who fails to adhere to quarantine for 14 days shall be deemed to have committed an offence under the National Pandemic Act 2020.
  17. For the purposes of pointer 15,  an individual who fails to adhere to the conditions imposed by the Controller shall be deemed to have committed an offence under the National Pandemic Act 2020.
  18. A person or organisation that allows a person to board an aircraft bound for PNG in breach of these pointers 1 and 2 shall be deemed to have committed an offence under the National Pandemic Act 2020.

Passengers wishing to return to PNG must adhere to the following process;

  1. Passengers must have PNG SOE signed and stamped approval
  2. Passengers must have a firm booking into Port Moresby
  3. Passengers must show evidence of firm pre-paid accommodation for 14 days at any of the following SoE designated Quarantine Properties – Holiday Inn, Ela Beach Hotel, Sanctuary Hotel, Dixies Bungalows, Grand Papua Hotel, Stanley Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Laguna Hotel and Granville Hotel. 
  4. All incoming PNG stranded passenger names must be provided to dfait20@gmail.com as Foreign Affairs, will cross-check their list to know the remaining citizens for repatriation.
  5. PNG Citizens and PNG permanent residents must contact the PNG Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAIT) to request return. This will normally be via their nearest Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. For PNG citizens if you cannot afford the cost of the hotel you must advise DFAIT of this, DFAIT will then discuss with you to make appropriate arrangements.
OUTBOUND FLIGHTS:

All passengers who are travelling internationally are strongly advised to always check on the latest information and advice on the relevant Government websites. This applies to travels to the following international ports:

BRISBANE & CAIRNS
  • Customers travelling out of Papua New Guinea must comply with entry or transit conditions for Australia, as well as any interstate restrictions within Australia or at their final destination
Important  Notice – International Travellers Travelling into Queensland from Overseas

Queensland Health is continuing to respond to the declared public health emergency in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).

From 1 July 2020, international travellers arriving into Queensland from overseas will be charged a fee for quarantining in government-arranged accommodation. 

To limit the spread of COVID-19, travellers from overseas are required to quarantine in a nominated premises for 14 days, as declared in the Public Health Direction Self-quarantine for Persons Arriving in Queensland from Overseas Direction. In some instances, it might be possible to apply for an exemption from quarantine. To apply for an exemption from quarantine, a person can submit an application via the Health Directions Exemption Portal.

Previously, the fees associated with quarantine have been paid by the Queensland Government. However, from 1 July 2020, travellers will be required to cover the costs of food and accommodation during quarantine in government-arranged accommodation. These costs are based on the number of days spent in government-arranged accommodation and the number of people required to quarantine.

Travellers will be able to apply for a full or partial waiver of the fee for quarantine in government-arranged accommodation. A waiver application can be submitted from the date the invoice is received, up to 30 days after the date the invoice was issued. For example, a waiver of the fee may be available if:

  • the person applying is experiencing financial hardship; or
  • the person applying for the waiver, or a person to whom the invoice relates, is a “vulnerable” person; or
  • the person can produce documentary evidence that the arrival date for travel to Queensland was confirmed on or before midnight on 17 June 2020.

Arrivals into Queensland will be asked to complete the Quarantine Direction and Notice to Pay COVID-19 Quarantine Fee document. A factsheet will also be provided upon arrival – same can be viewed here: Quarantine Factsheet for International Travellers travelling to Queensland, Australia from Overseas (effective 01 JULY 2020)

Further information, including questions and answers, is available on Queensland Health’s website at www.health.qld.gov.au/covid-19-quarantine.

Important Reminder – Transiting via Australia

As at 0001 AEST 11 July 2020, all foreign nationals whose itinerary indicates that they will transit Australia for up to a maximum period of 72 hours, will no longer require an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions. Travellers will continue to be required to obtain state and territory health exemptions in accordance with state and territory legislation and bring evidence of this at check in for boarding. Please refer to the following website to confirm each state or territory’s requirements.

Below is the Updated information obtained via the Home Affairs Website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/transiting-australia

Please note that any foreign national proposing to transit Australia for longer than 72 hours are still required to obtain an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions.

  • You are automatically exempt (and don’t have to request an exemption) if you are transiting Australia for 72 hours or less.
  • If you intend to spend more than 72 hours in Australia waiting for your connecting flight, you are not considered to be transiting Australia and will need to request an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions. 
  • You must follow the quarantine requirements in the state or territory you arrive in.
Visa requirements to transit Australia
Transit quarantine arrangements

You must follow the quarantine requirements in the state or territory that you arrive in. You may need to stay in hotel accommodation and you may be asked to pay for your stay, while you are waiting for your onwards flight. For information on quarantine requirements contact the relevant state or territory government health department.

Please visit the Home Affairs Website for updates regarding Travel Restrictions for Australia; https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/

SINGAPORE

Note: The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and the associated entry requirements and restrictions being imposed by relevant Government authorities are beyond the airline’s control.

Important Notices & Forms

We understand your travel concerns and we’re here to help in these challenging times.  All intending travellers are strongly advised to check all relevant travel requirements for International and Domestic Travel as issued by the Emergency Controller.

All Sales Offices have resumed for business and will operate from 08:00 am to 5:00 pm on Mondays to Fridays and from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturdays.

For new bookings, book online at www.airniugini.com.pg or visit your nearest Air Niugini Sales Office or Travel Agent.

You may also contact our Call Centre on Toll-Free Number 180 3444 or +675 327 3444 or email csc@airniugini.com.pg for bookings and general assistance.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times and we encourage all to stay safe and practice high levels of hygiene. Stay healthy and stay safe.

Travel Restrictions

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

Flights to Buka and Kieta airports in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) still require approval from the Bougainville SOE Controller. Air Niugini is currently operating two (2) weekly flights (on Wednesdays and Fridays) to Buka, based on Bougainville SoE Controller approval. Take note of these requirements before traveling to/from Buka:

  1. No medical clearance is required for intending travellers to Bougainville. However, it is mandatory to obtain prior approval from the Bougainville SOE Controller
  2. Upon arrival at the airport, passengers are required to undergo quarantine checks, per the SOE Standard Operating Procedures;
  3. Passengers to provide a health surveillance form/health declaration form;
  4. International travellers are required to undergo 14-days quarantine at a designated hotel or alternative in Port Moresby. A valid medical clearance certificate shall be produced upon entry in Bougainville.

See AROB SOE Controller Emergency Order No 4 for further details: Bougainville Emergency Order NO. 4 or contact AROB SOE Controller Approval at  arobcovodi10occ@gmail.com for further information.

Tabubil airport has been closed by Ok Tedi Mining Limited, similarly, Lihir airport in New Ireland has been closed by Newcrest.

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

INBOUND FLIGHTS:

Under the current SOE, Conditional Approvals have been granted for the below listed inbound International Travel, by the Commissioner of Police and Controller of the State of Emergency PNG:

  1. Brisbane to Port Moresby;
  2. Cairns to Port Moresby; and
  3. Singapore to Port Moresby.

Scheduled flights from all other Air Niugini International destinations are currently not approved under the present SoE Controller directives. These will only be introduced as and when the SOE Controller provides clearance. 

OUTBOUND FLIGHTS:

Air Niugini remains only approved to fly to the below listed international locations under the present SoE Controller directives.

  • Brisbane (5 times per week);
  • Cairns (2 times per week); and
  • Singapore (4 times per week).

Scheduled flights to all other Air Niugini International destinations are currently not approved under the present SoE Controller directives. These will only be introduced as and when the SOE Controller provides clearance. 

Note: The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and the associated entry requirements and restrictions being imposed by relevant Government authorities are beyond the airline’s control.

Booking Changes and Cancellations

Rebooking of existing travel – COVID-19 – Updated 08 April 2020

Following the declaration of the extension of the State of Emergency for a further two (2) months and the resumption of Domestic services, all passengers holding tickets with travel dates between 23rd March to 6th April 2020 May;

  1. Rebook new flight(s), per original itinerary for travel after 6th April 2020, without any change fees.
  2. Cancel the ticket and retain the value for future use on the same itinerary
  3. Cancel the ticket and use this value as partial credit towards the purchase of a PX ticket to an alternative PX destination.
  4. New tickets must be used by 31 December 2021.
  5. For tickets not purchased via Air Niugini, please contact your Travel Agency for assistance.

Customers with rebooking inquiries as a result of disruptions to travel caused by the travel ban can be sent via email to wecare20@airniugini.com.pg. A representative of our team will be in touch with you to assist accordingly.

We kindly ask for your patience and understanding as we face this very challenging time together. Stay healthy and stay safe.

What we’re doing to keep you safe

Whilst PNG has fortunately not had any reported cases of COVID-19, as a valued and loyal customer, it is timely to update you on the evolving situation, and the precautionary measures Air Niugini is taking to protect your well-being whenever you travel with us.   

The health and safety of the people of PNG, our passengers and crew are always our absolute priority. Air Niugini has always been proud of the steps we take every day to ensure our processes are the world’s best in protecting the health of our passengers and staff.   While there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in PNG, we are already taking a number of additional steps to enhance your protection on our flights, and to reduce any risk of COVID-19 being spread by travellers.  We note that the World Health Organisation has advised that there is an extremely low risk of cross-transmission between passengers and crew and that to date there has been no confirmed inflight transmission of COVID-19 anywhere in the world.

To date Air Niugini is already;

  • Ensuring our aircraft are sprayed with hospital-type disinfectants every night they are at a maintenance base, including Port Moresby.
  • Ensuring all our offices where we interact with you, our customers, such as sales outlets, are sprayed with hospital-type disinfectant every night
  • Reducing and cancelling flights voluntarily for those locations where the infection rates were previously increasing rapidly such as previously through Asia, and we will continue to do so to all locations showing signs of significant spread.  
  • Replacing headrest covers every time an aircraft transits through Port Moresby
  • Removing in-flight magazines from all our aircraft, to reduce any risk of cross-transmission
  • Ensuring in-flight blankets are cleaned using industrial laundry practices, whenever their sealed container has been opened and replacing earpiece covers on all distributed headsets after every flight.
  • Ensuring at all international departure airports with increased levels of infection that enhanced screening processes are in place and being implemented to reduce any chance we uplift any passengers to PNG who are showing any symptoms of COVID-19
  • Ensuring all headsets, blankets and headrests are removed off all seats, prior to the aircraft cleaning.

Providing all our staff who are interacting with the public, including our cabin crew and check-in staff, with personal protective equipment appropriate to the risk level for their role and location. 

Our senior leaders are meeting regularly to discuss our ongoing response and ensure we have the latest information from health authorities. We stand ready to support passengers who need to change their travel due to COVID-19, and we’re waiving change fees for eligible guests.

Air Niugini acknowledges that this is a rapidly evolving situation, and Air Niugini already has well-developed plans ready to roll-out should there be any reported cases of COVID-19 in PNG. Whilst we acknowledge some of these may mean your travel experience seems different from normal, these would be implemented to minimize any chances of domestic transmission of COVID-19 within PNG, and to ensure your and our staff’s safety on all our domestic flights. 

Hygiene Practices

As noted, to date, there has been no confirmed inflight transmission of COVID-19 anywhere in the world, but it’s still important that you are aware that we maintain the highest hygiene and cleaning practices on our aircraft and on the ground.   We’re closely following all advice received from WHO,

PNG and other worldwide medical authorities, regarding precautions that are needed to minimize risks concerned with COVID-19.  We’re ensuring our crew maintains high hygiene standards in the cabin, including practicing proper hygiene procedures.

All our flights are equipped with hand sanitizer and face masks, and if any guest presents as unwell or with flu-like symptoms on one of our flights, they’ll be provided with a face mask and hand sanitizer, and where possible, moved away from other passengers.

Aircraft Cleaning

We uphold the highest standards when it comes to cleaning our aircraft and have stringent processes in place. Our aircraft are cleaned every night they are at a maintenance base, including Port Moresby, and on every transit through Port Moresby, which includes the use of an antibacterial, antimicrobial cleaning product that reduces the risk of harmful viruses, molds, fungus, algae, and any other possible harmful pathogenic bacteria. 

Our Boeing aircraft are also fitted with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which perform similarly to those used to keep the air clean in hospital operating rooms. This means the air quality on the aircraft is essentially sterile and particle-free.

  • To learn more about coronavirus, including what the symptoms are and how to protect yourself against getting sick, we recommend visiting the World Health Organization
  • A comprehensive list of the travel advisories in place across our network is available on the IATA Travel Centre website www.iatatravelcentre.com.