12 Jan 2023

Aust experts to look into state of troubled Air Vanuatu

11:36 am on 12 January 2023

A team of Australian aviation experts is due to arrive in Port Vila this afternoon to come up with a plan to rescue the troubled national airline Air Vanuatu.

A source from the airline said the team has come in following a request for a rapid assessment from Prime Minister, Ishmael Kalsakau.

There are two phases of this assessment, which could take up to 45 days.

Air Vanuatu's new Airbus A220-100

Air Vanuatu's new Airbus A220-100 Photo: Airbus

Our correspondent said that Initially they will look at the financial state of the airline, along with staffing levels and the suitability of the aircraft in use.

The second phase will consider immediate options to improve staff moral and improve schedule reliability.

Air Vanuatu's new board is also requesting help from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Last year the IFC carried out a study and an assessment of the airline but its recommendations were not implemented.

In his first address to the nation after his win in last year's snap election, Kalsakau said the airline was in a mess, accusing it of bad management and corrupt practices.

He then replaced the board.