Air Vanuatu Enters Voluntary Administration, Cancels Flights

An Air Vanuatu 737 approaches to land., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Air Vanuatu, the national carrier of Vanuatu, has announced that it has now entered voluntary administration.

This decision comes shortly after the airline cancelled all international flights between May 9th and 12th, 2024. Flights beyond that date are now currently under review.

Voluntary administration is a process where a company facing financial difficulties appoints an administrator to oversee its financial restructuring.

In simpler terms, Air Vanuatu is now seeking professional help to get back on track financially.

Suspension of Flight Services

in a statement issued on Thursday, 9 May 2024, the Vanuatu national airline confirmed that it was planning to enter voluntary administration.

“The Vanuatu government is now considering placing Air Vanuatu, the national carrier of Vanuatu, into voluntary administration.”

“The international firm Ernst & Young has been appointed to assist the Vanuatu government in reviewing available options and put forward recommendations to the Vanuatu government.”

An Air Vanuatu Boeing 737 on the taxiway.
Timo Breidenstein (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

This move has resulted in the cancellation of all scheduled flights from today until Sunday, May 12th. The airline has advised that scheduled flights beyond that date are now under review.

The reasons behind Air Vanuatu’s financial position are not entirely clear at this stage. However, the impact of the pandemic on the travel industry is a likely contributing factor.

Next Moves for the Airline

The Vanuatu government has appointed Ernst & Young, a professional services firm, to assess Air Vanuatu’s financial situation and explore options for the airline’s future. This could potentially involve anything from restructuring the company to finding new investors.

According to the local news source Vanuatu Daily Post, the airline’s Board of Directors has been dissolved with the appointment of the administrator.

Paul Spijkers (GFDL or GFDL ), via Wikimedia Commons

It reports that the airline is facing a “serious situation of bankruptcy.” In the face of its continuous decline, the airline board and CEO have repeatedly declined responding to questions from the public regarding its position.

Impact on Passengers

The sudden cancellation of flight services has meant disruption for Australian and New Zealand travellers. The Australian national broadcaster ABC has reported that the move has stranded several Australian tourists in Vanuatu.

This situation has understandably caused disruption for passengers who had booked flights with Air Vanuatu. The Vanuatu Tourism Office is working to provide updates for travelers affected by the cancellations.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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