Vanuatu's Director of Fisheries has confirmed the removal of two ni-Vanuatu fisheries observers from a flight from Auckland for drunken and abusive behaviour.
William Naviti said the two men were returning from the Cook Islands and Tahiti, where they had been observers on Vanuatu-flagged fishing boats.
Earlier, the Daily Post reported Air Vanuatu as saying the men were intoxicated and abusive leading to them being removed from the flight by police.
Mr Naviti said it was their first trip overseas.
An investigation was underway into their conduct, and a decision would then be made whether they could return for a second duty, he said.