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Kalosil heads new Air Vanuatu Board

By Anita Roberts.

Mr. Kalosil in 2019. PM Kilman says he believes Kalosil has the capacity to address the Air Vanuatu

A new Air Vanuatu Board has been appointed, following the formation of the new Government to steer the company and ensure it meets the needs of its shareholders.

The Head of the Government, Prime Minister (PM) Sato Kilman announced yesterday on the national broadcaster that a former PM, Moana Carcasses Kalosil, has been appointed as the Chairman of the new board.

Kalosil replaced the former Chairman Willie Daniel and the former board who were appointed in November last year.

According to a government source, the members include Benjamin Shing as the representative from the Ministry of Finance, Dunstan Hilton, Alexandre Perret and Herbert Joel Duvu are representatives of the private sector, including lawyer Nigel Morrison.

The new board began work yesterday morning.

When revealing the termination of the former board, PM Kilman said the government is expecting a State of Affairs Report on the national airline within a period of five days.

He said they are looking at addressing issues in short and long-term scenarios to improve services.

He said they are talking with some institutions to acquire new aircrafts for both domestic and international routes, something which the former government had also considered.

Apart from this long-term plan, the PM conveyed a Memorandum of Agreement was supposed to be signed yesterday afternoon with a company that is ready to provide some aircrafts to Vanuatu.

The PM talked about the disturbingly inadequate and irregular air services to the islands. This is one of the first things to address, he stressed.

Kilman said he believes Kalosil has the capacity to address the airline issues.

Improving Air Vanuatu has always been a priority of the government.

The government has been committed to saving the airline from financial crises over the years, which have been blamed on mismanagement.

In 2021, the shareholders made changes to the airline board.

The Finance Minister at that time, Johnny Koanapo, said the decision was taken to save the airline plagued with debts beyond its repayment capacity.

He blamed political interference and negligence for the mismanagement.

The previous government just before being ousted from power talked about tabling a paper in the Council of Ministers (COM) meeting on removing political interference from the airline.

The former PM mentioned that change would see the new management consisting of technical members, not politicians.

This is to ensure the airline runs in the right direction compared to when there was a lot of political interference in the past years.

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