Virgin Airlines schedule not yet available
Virgin Airlines has yet to release a new schedule for flights from Brisbane to Vanuatu. A Virgin spokesman declined to say when the new schedule would be released or when the airline would return to the Brisbane – Port Vila route.
This was operating four times a week before the COVID-19 pandemic closed Vanuatu’s borders in 2020.Apart from Air Vanuatu, Virgin is the only commercial airline that has regular service from Australia to Vanuatu.
Air Vanuatu has already announced its full schedule including Australia which will commence when the borders reopen on July 1.
Some tourist operators in Port Vila said they believed that Virgin was waiting until they were certain there would be no returning to any form of quarantine for international passengers. They feared a delay in schedule announcement could create a return to Vanuatu flights later than July 1.
“Things have been impossible for us and Virgin often added more than 1000 tourists a week to our shores and we desperately need that again now,’’ said one operator.
Meanwhile, an Air New Zealand spokesman has said that the carrier has no plans to return to a regular schedule with Vanuatu. They ceased flying to this country early in 2016 after claims there were problems with the standard of the runway at Port Vila airport.
Even after major repairs to the runway, Air New Zealand has failed to return, leaving Air Vanuatu as the only international carrier servicing New Zealand. The Vanuatu Tourism Office is in communication with Virgin Australia, along with a range of aviation partners, regarding the re-commencement of flights. Virgin Australia remains positive about returning to Vanuatu and are watching the reopening protocols closely to determine an opening plan.