Air New Zealand is suspending services between Auckland and Vanuatu in light of on-going concerns about the condition of the runway at Port Vila International Airport.
If the move was long-term, it could have a detrimental affect on tourism with the sector being one of the nation’s leading sources of income.
Air New Zealand’s General Manager Flight Operations, Stephen Hunt, said the decision was an unfortunate one to have to make.
“The condition of the runway at Port Vila has been gradually deteriorating and we have taken the difficult decision to suspend services before the situation becomes unsafe,” he said.
Air New Zealand’s Customer Care spokesperson, Debbie McKeown, said the move will inconvenience customers but safety comes first.
“Unfortunately we will only be able to carry customers who are completing a return journey on Sunday’s flights,” she said.
“We have put a comprehensive customer plan in place… We will make contact with customers who’ve booked directly with Air New Zealand to explain their options.
“Customers who’ve booked through a travel agent should make contact with their travel arranger.
“All customers will have the option of changing their booking to another Pacific or Tasman destination or receiving a full refund,” McKeown said.