Please note: This article was written in 2019. The Qantas Frequent Flyer partnership with Air Niugini ended on 6 August 2020.
Did you know that you can redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points to book Air Niugini flights?
Based in Papua New Guinea, Air Niugini offers several routes between Australia and Port Moresby. PNG’s flag carrier also has a solid domestic network and flies to a range of other international destinations from its Port Moresby hub, including in Asia, Micronesia and the Pacific Islands.
And redeeming Qantas points to Papua New Guinea just got easier! It’s now possible to book Air Niugini flights using Qantas points on the Qantas website. (Until recently, it was necessary to call Qantas to make an award booking on Air Niugini.) This now leaves Jet Airways as the only remaining Qantas partner airline for which award flights cannot be booked online.
Out of Australia, Air Niugini flies direct from Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns to Port Moresby. The Sydney-Port Moresby route is served by Boeing 737s, while Brisbane-Cairns is a Boeing 767 route. An Air Niugini Economy reward seat on either flight would cost 20,000 Qantas points one-way, plus taxes. A seat from Cairns to Port Moresby on Air Niugini’s Fokker 100 service would cost 10,000 Qantas points one-way, plus taxes.
There are no fuel surcharges when redeeming Qantas points for Air Niugini flights. However, the government taxes are relatively high when flying to/from Papua New Guinea. On routes from Australia to Port Moresby, you can expect to pay around $136-$140 in taxes one-way. (These taxes are included in the fare when booking a revenue ticket.)
Air Niugini awards don’t just offer another way to get to Papua New Guinea. You can also fly through Port Moresby to get to destinations across Asia such as Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, Tokyo and Bali. If you live in Cairns, for example, Air Niugini offers a competitive alternative to Cathay Pacific on the Cairns-Hong Kong route.
Air Niugini award availability in Economy class is typically excellent. On the routes we checked, award seats were available almost every day! However, it is not possible to redeem Qantas points for Air Niugini flights in Business class.
You can now book most Air Niugini flights with Qantas points on the Qantas website. However, the Qantas website won’t allow you to book flights within Papua New Guinea or to destinations in Micronesia (Chuuk and Pohnpei). To check award availability or book a reward flight to one of these destinations, you would still need to call Qantas.
Qantas also flies direct from Brisbane (and, from 31 March 2019, Cairns) to Port Moresby. A one-way Economy reward seat on Qantas from Brisbane to Port Moresby would cost 18,000 Qantas points and $149.60 in taxes and carrier charges. Qantas also has Business reward seats available on this route. On QantasLink’s Economy-only Cairns-Port Moresby flights, a reward seat would cost 8,000 Qantas points and $150.36, one-way.
Virgin Australia also flies from Brisbane to Port Moresby. As of yesterday, this route changed from a Boeing 737-800 service to a Fokker 100 route running only from Monday to Friday without a Business class cabin. Nonetheless, Virgin also has relatively good Economy reward seat availability. A ticket would cost 17,800 Velocity points and $167.31 in taxes and Velocity carrier charges, one-way, and can be booked on the Virgin Australia website.
Would you like help using your frequent flyer points?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!
Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.
Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer
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