Passengers stranded by Air Vanuatu maintenance issue

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

Hundreds of passengers have found themselves stranded in Vanuatu after the national flag carrier Air Vanuatu placed its sole Boeing 737 aircraft out of service.

Statement by the airline confirmed that it is now operating on reduced international capacity via its partnership with Solomon Airways while its sole Boeing 737 aircraft is out of service.

Aircraft on Ground Brisbane

The airline has confirmed that services will be affected until mid-next week. The cause of these disruptions is unscheduled technical work that is required on the aircraft.

The aircraft is currently grounded in Brisbane and is understood to be awaiting the arrival of a spare part.

Paul Spijkers (GFDL or GFDL ), via Wikimedia Commons

In a statement on their website, Air Vanuatu said that it appreciated that this break down is causing disruption to the travel plans of guests. The airline emphasised that it “recognizes the paramount importance of passenger safety and the integrity of its operations.”


“The airline will resume flights when all required engineering works and checks are completed and has made statements to assure industry partners that they are focused on getting all guests back in the air and safely returned to their destinations,” the statement continued.

“Once the work is completed, they are confident these ongoing disruptions will be minimised. In line with its policy, Air Vanuatu is covering the cost of accommodation and meals for those guests whose flights are affected.

Whilst Air Vanuatu currently operates codesharing partnerships with other regional operators including Solomon Airways and Fiji Airways, it currently only operates the one aircraft for its international operations.

The carrier saw a similar grounding late last year, with tourists stranded just prior to Christmas as a result of maintenance issues.

About Air Vanuatu

Air Vanuatu is the national flag carrier of Vanuatu, operating to Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and points in the South Pacific. Its main base is Bauerfield International Airport, Port Vila.

Air Vanuatu was established in early 1981 after Vanuatu gained independence from the United Kingdom and France the previous year.

The airline was initially owned by the government of Vanuatu, but was privatized in 2013.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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