29 Jan 2016

Emergency repairs for Vanuatu airport's runway

7:12 pm on 29 January 2016

Emergency repairs could get underway on Port Vila airport's deteriorating runway in Vanuatu next month.

Port Vila international airport

Port Vila international airport Photo: RNZ

The airport has received a $1 million dollar grant to carry out emergency short term repairs after some major airlines decided to stop flying into the capital.

Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia have suspended flights to the main Port Vila airport and Qantas has ended its code sharing arrangement with Air Vanuatu.

The chairman of the Vanuatu Hotel Resorts and Accommodation, Bryan Death, said it was expected to take about a month for the emergency runway repairs to be carried out.

"A bit of light at the end of the tunnel, but we would like that tunnel to be a lot shorter, obviously, and that's not going to be possible, because it's just going to take time to mobilise and put that product and machinery on a vessel in New Zealand and get it over here. But the good news is that can happen probably within a week.

A full overhaul of the runway is expected by the end of the year with a multi-million dollar grant from the World Bank.