Virgin Australia resumes its Vanuatu operations

A Virgin Australia Boeing 737 taxis under an overcast sky.
Mehdi Nazarinia GFDL 1.2, via Wikimedia Commons

Virgin Australia is resuming its popular direct services between Australia and Vanuatu today, further expanding the airline’s connectivity to the Pacific Islands.

The latest resumption by the Australian carrier comes after the recent re-inauguration of Samoa flights earlier this month.

Rebuilding the Pacific Island network

Virgin Australia’s highly anticipated return to the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu is the latest step in rebuilding its short-haul international network.

The latest move comes after services to Samoa were restored, and a brand-new Gold Coast-Bali route took off earlier this month. New short haul international services will see Virgin Australia grow its international capacity by 50 per cent from FY23 to FY24.

Direct services from Brisbane to Port Vila, Vanuatu will operate on the airline’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft up to five times a week in peak periods, and up to three times weekly in off peaks.

Virgin Australia Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Alistair Hartley said the addition of the island destination to Virgin Australia’s network gave holiday makers greater choice when it came to planning a getaway right on their doorstep.

“This is an important and longstanding connection for Virgin Australia, which started flying between Australia and Vanuatu nearly 20 years ago,” he said.

“It means Australians now have another wonderful Pacific Island destination just a short flight away and an opportunity to enjoy the unique beauty and culture of Vanuatu.

“This is also really positive news for Vanuatu which relies on connections like these as a source of tourism and to connect friends and family across the Pacific.”

Vanuatu Tourism Office CEO Adela Issachar Aru said: “Australian visitation has continued to rise steadily since Vanuatu’s borders reopened in July 2022, and greater connectivity to Vanuatu, thanks to Virgin Australia, will help us welcome even more holidaymakers to our shores in 2023 and beyond.

“There’s so much to explore in Vanuatu, with life-changing adventures to be had no matter what a traveller’s interest.”

“Virgin Australia has always been a valued partner to Vanuatu, and with non-stop flights from Brisbane to Port Vila, it’s now even easier for Australians to enjoy Vanuatu’s culture and islands, just 2.5 hours from Brisbane.”

“We are excited to see more Australians answer the call of Vanuatu and look forward to seeing Virgin Australia’s red and purple in our skies again.”

Guests travelling on the route will be able to access extensive connectivity through Brisbane to the rest of the Virgin Australia domestic and short-haul international network.

The flight schedule is well suited to leisure travellers, with a 10.40am departure from Brisbane.


The last couple of weeks have certainly seen a flurry of activity with Virgin Australia restoring its Pacific services, as well as its near North connections.

Many Australians visit the Pacific Islands for leisure, particularly to destinations such as Fiji, Vanuatu, and Samoa. The Pacific Islands are also a popular destination for honeymooners and families.

In addition to tourism, there are also strong economic and cultural ties between Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Many Pacific Island countries rely on Australia for trade, aid, and investment, and there are large Pacific Islander communities living in Australia.

As a result, there is a significant amount of business travel and personal travel between the two regions.

Virgin Australia’s short haul international network continues to expand following the relaunch of the business in November 2020 and now includes Bali, Queenstown, Nadi, Port Vila and Apia, as well as Tokyo (Haneda) which will commence in June 2023

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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