Virgin Australia Resumes Flights To Vanuatu

Four month suspension over condition of Bauerfield Airport ends

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 24, 2016) – Virgin Australia’s flight VOZ 171 touched down at Port Vila’s Bauerfield International Airport 13 minutes ahead of schedule on Monday, May 23, 2016 fulfilling the promise the airline had made to the Government of Vanuatu.

The Boeing 737 left Brisbane at 10.50am and arrived 2.17pm at Bauerfield Airport, ending four months of suspension to the service by the airline in January due to safety concerns over the condition of the Buaerfield airport runway.

Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL) Chief Executive Officer, Jason Rakau, announced on AVL’s facebook page that he is pleased the airline has resumed flights to Port Vila

“We are glad to see the Virgin tail back at our gateway airport and look forward to working closely with all our client airlines to ensure their continued services to Vanuatu.”

At the official ceremony at Bauerfield Airport’s VIP Lounge marking the completion of phase one rehabilitation work on the runway, the Minister for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Jotham Napat, announced that Virgin Airlines Australia have written to him saying they would resume operations into Port Vila’s Bauerfield Airport from May 23, 2016.

However, the minister announced that Air New Zealand have clearly advised they will not resume flights until phase 2 rehabilitation works is activated, which is expected to be toward the end of the year.

The Daily Post was not able to get any further information on the Virgin flight at this stage.

However, even though the return of the flight was understood to be a low key affair, resumption of the service by Virgin is most anticipated by both the government and the private sector, especially the tourism sector because of the increased visitor numbers the airline will bring to Vanuatu.

Virgin Australia operates a three-weekly flight to Vanuatu – on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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