LONDON – Restarting flights to Australia is a win for Vanuatu and Air Vanuatu. After two years of covid hibernation, the airline is finally ready to welcome tourists from Australia to Vanuatu.
Air Vanuatu will fly from Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney to Port Villa starting on the 1st of July. The resurge in these flights coincides with the relaxation of border restrictions in Vanuatu.
Travelers no longer need to quarantine upon arrival in Vanuatu.
Air Vanuatu Chief Executive Officer, Atu Finau, stated the quarantine-free travel to Vanuatu from July 1 is heartwarming news for the national carrier.
“The reopening of Vanuatu to international leisure travelers from 1 July is a major milestone we have been looking forward to and it will be great to see Australian travelers return to Vanuatu,”
“Australian travelers have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of when they can travel to Vanuatu quarantine free and we are very pleased to confirm that from 1 July this will be possible,” said Air Vanuatu Manager Commercial, Australia, Paul Forbes.
Forbes added that: “We expect to see strong demand from Australian travelers, not only those with flight credits, wanting an overseas holiday close to home and Vanuatu offers exactly what people are looking for in a holiday in 2022.”
It takes approximately three to four hours from Port Villa to the three scheduled Australian cities.
Vanuatu is a beautiful archipelago on the southern pacific rim, where over half of the inbound tourists to the island state are from Australia.
The preliminary schedule of the Vanuatu flag carrier shows:
- Sydney-Port Vila will depart Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
- Brisbane-Port Vila will jet off every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday
- Melbourne-Port Vila will operate each Thursday
The airline will fly to Sydney and the capital Port Vila five times weekly, thrice weekly from Brisbane, and once from Melbourne.
Finau added that: “Flying with Air Vanuatu means passengers enjoy a warm Vanuatu welcome from the moment passengers step on board and we are delighted to recommence our services from Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne from July.”
The airline will utilize the 737-800s on all routes which are equipped with free wifi streaming, and business class passengers will enjoy a premium four-course meal.
The airline is healing from the pandemic and has had rough patches for the past year. Last year, the Vanuatu Government has taken full control of the airline to save it from bankruptcy.
The airline is also reviewing the possibility of acquiring 4 A220s (two A220-100s and two A220-300s). Though this may not likely happen due to budget constraints ruled out by the government.
Currently, the airline operates a fleet of three DHC-6-300s, one B737-800, one ATR72-600, and one BN-2.
With the restarting of flights to Australia, the airline hopes that it will revive its dire financial situation and position itself for further growth.