16 Mar 2015

Commercial flights resume to Vanuatu

5:10 am on 16 March 2015

Air Vanuatu is to resume flights to the Vanuatu capital today, providing special back-to-back flights between Australia and Port Vila.

The flights will carry aid supplies and move returning tourists from Vanuatu.

Air Vanuatu had suspended flights ahead of Tropical Cyclone Pam which caused damage to Port Vila's Bauerfield International, with the runway flooded and the terminal and control tower sustaining structural damage.

But an Air Vanuatu spokesperson Tiffany Carroll says the airport is ready to receive flights again.

"The authorities, the National Disaster Management Office, Civil Aviation Vanuatu and Air Vanuatu have been working tirelessly to carry out repairs and get everything up to speed. Our aircraft is actually fitted with the required navigation performance tools neccessary to be able to land in conditions such as we're experiencing in Vila at the moment."

Tiffany Carroll says Air Vanuatu's ATR plane is also returning from Noumea and will be resuming domestic flights this week.

Air New Zealand says it's also hoping to resume services to Vanuatu today.

A spokesperson says it is scheduled to send a plane from Auckland this afternoon, returning tonight.

An Air Vanuatu plane taking off

Air Vanuatu resumes flights to Vanuatu today after repairs carried out to Bauerfield Airport Photo: RNZI