16 May 2024

Air Vanuatu owes at least US$65m, liquidators say

5:01 pm on 16 May 2024
Air Vanuatu plane at night. 19 August 2023

Air Vanuatu plane at night. 19 August 2023 Photo: RNZ Pacific / Kelvin Anthony

The dire extent of Air Vanuatu's demise has been revealed by the airline's liquidators EY.

In a report released a short time ago, the liquidators say the airline owes at least US$65 million although due to the poor state of the company's financial records, they are unable to verify whether that number is completely accurate. It is also yet to hear from all unsecured creditors.

Government loans total almost US$21m.

Air Vanuatu employs 441 staff across Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand.

It has six aircraft but only two of those are flight ready.

Three of the six need maintenance. Its biggest aircraft, a leased 737, which services New Zealand and Australia, has been repossessed on the tarmac in Melbourne.

The report reveals the airline paid US$20m for an A220 aircraft it could not afford.

There are also 4000 ticketholders who purchased flights they have been unable to take.

EY has called an online creditors meeting for next Wednesday 22 May.

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