So I arrived at Nadzab, airport, checked in and was told that the Air Niugini flight was delayed and that the Hoskins-Rabaul flight was now scheduled for 12pm.
A few minutes later, Air Niugini announced on the PA system that the flight was further delayed due to “operational requirements,” whatever that means.
Earlier an Australian guy ahead of me in the queue was asking why Air Niugini didn’t put a notice outside telling customers that flights had been delayed. No real explanation was given.
After finding a seat, I heard another announcement. The Port Moresby flights were also delayed. Customers were told to go get new boarding passes.
As I waited for 1pm to arrive, PNG Air flights were being boarded one after another.
Why the delays? What are “operational requirements?” Does it mean the plane that we are supposed to travel on is too ‘bagarap’ to fly? Is it because the pilot can’t fly because he exceeded his flying hours.
What is it?
I found a not so secluded corner on the floor, hugged my backpack and dozed off. I was abruptly woken by a security who was checking who it was that had “cut off” behind the old desk at the entry.
“Oh sori bosman! I’ll wake you up when the plane lands.”
Sigi didn’t come back. Plane didn’t come. When I woke up 20 minutes later. I saw West New Britain Governor, Sasindran Muthuvel also waiting for the Hoskins-Rabaul Kumul balus.
An Air Niugini delay is like death. It touches everyone including VIPs…and governors.
Last month, a senior academic said: “These days you can’t trust Air Niugini to be on time. If you are transiting through POM for an international flight, it is best you spend the night in Port Moresby.”
Airfares have increased. Service has dipped.
You could say Air Niugini is truly a Papua New Guinean airline.
It’s like in the village, where big uncle calls a meeting for 2pm and by 5pm , some of the other papa and mama are still coming to the meeting. When you get there, the meeting hasn’t started yet.
The difference is that you pay money to suffer the delays.
The people who suffer the worst of the abuse are the ground staff. Yet they are not the cause of the delays. In fact the people responsible for the delays are always faceless. That’s how it is.
Maybe I should start asking for refunds?