20110602 Virgin Australia YR801 3664 (VOZ) 737-800 Take off and Taxi

Inbound tourism to Vanuatu has taken another significant hit with Virgin Australia joining Air New Zealand in suspending flights to Port Vila due to the condition of the airport’s runway.

Vanuatu relies heavily on tourism and the suspension of more flights leaves the destination in significant disarray.

In a statement, Virgin Australia said it had no choice but to suspend flights.

“On Monday (Jan 25) we stated we would continue to monitor the condition of the runway and would cease operations between Australia and Port Vila, Vanuatu if we were not convinced that the runway is suitable for ongoing operations,” the airline said.

“After a further review on Wednesday 27 January, we will suspend services between Brisbane and Vanuatu until we have greater confidence that the runway will be maintained appropriately.

“We will operate a return service between Brisbane and Vanuatu on Saturday 30 January available to guests returning to their port of origin.

“We will continue to work with authorities in Vanuatu and plan to recommence services between Brisbane and Vanuatu as soon as we are confident that appropriate measures are in place,” Virgin Australia said.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management