27 Repatriation Flights From April to June
Air Vanuatu has confirmed 27 repatriation flights have been scheduled between now and the end of June.
There are currently over 1,500 travellers with confirmed tickets in this period, and there is more space available on returning flights in June.
The confirmation comes as the airline proudly launched its new international flight schedule yesterday.
The new schedule will operate from 1st of July 2022 with 16 international return flights every week.
It includes weekly direct flights to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Nadi, Noumea, Auckland and the new destination of Funafuti in Tuvalu. These flights are now ready for travellers to book online, through our Sales offices or preferred Travel Agent.
“We are ready to go and have worked diligently with the Vanuatu Government and local tourism organisations to ensure that Vanuatu is reconnected to the world in an ambitious and effective way,” says Air Vanuatu Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Atu Finau.
“We know how important it is to re commence regular services and are totally committed to making this effective, safe and straight forward for our customers. We understand that the hotels and tourism industry businesses need to be confident that there will be a reliable service and we take this very seriously, despite these challenging COVID-19 times.”
While the addition of the regular direct schedule to Melbourne and the new Pacific connection to Tuvalu will be very welcomed, there have also been some difficult decisions taken. In particular, the direct flight from Brisbane to Santo which has not yet been included in the new international schedule.
The airline confirmed that discussions are progressing on how to best connect Santo in the future.
In the meantime, Air Vanuatu has ensured that the incoming Brisbane flight connects well with the domestic service up to Santo to continue to offer a same day service to Santo.
Air Vanuatu assured that every effort will be made to ensure that outer islands receive all the focus possible, however, to begin with and to ensure operations are commercially viable, the international port will be Port Vila for the start of the tourism relaunch. This will be supported by the domestic flights that connect travellers when it is safe and viable to do so, to the outer islands.
Air Vanuatu is working with the relevant authorities to secure approval to increase our fortnightly services to a weekly service to Tuvalu is in line with the strategy to support Pacific connections which is a new focus for Air Vanuatu.
The Tuvalu connection allows travellers to come internationally to Vanuatu, Tuvalu and onward to Fiji and Australia on connections that are practical and cost effective.
It also enables cargo movements that support the revenue and feasibility of these flights and provide important trade connections.
“Our immediate focus is also the repatriation of citizens and residents,” Finau confirmed.
For repatriation flights to meet the rules set by the Vanuatu Government for safe COVID-19 operations, the government mandates Air Vanuatu to a maximum of 100 passengers per repatriation flight at present.