Following a flight on 24th January 2016 to repatriate passengers with a ticket to or from Vanuatu/Auckland, all Air New Zealand flights between the two points will be suspended indefinitely due to on-going concerns about the condition of the runway at Port Vila International Airport.
…. 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. General Manager Flight Operations Stephen Hunt
Air New Zealand technical experts provided additional oversight for the flight’s arrival into and departure from Port Vila International Airport. Air New Zealand officials acknowledged that passengers would be inconvenienced, but reiterated that safety was the prime consideration.
…. Unfortunately we will only be able to carry customers who are completing a return journey on Sunday’s flights. 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. Customer Care spokesperson Debbie McKeown
Air New Zealand has been operating to Vanuatu once a week and codesharing with Air Vanuatu on its twice weekly Auckland-Vanuatu services. Today’s decision affects Air New Zealand operated services and codeshare bookings made via Air New Zealand on Air Vanuatu operated services.
Further details of the customer plan can be viewed on the Air New Zealand Flight Alert page.