Air Vanuatu-Qantas codeshare on Vila routes still off

Air Vanuatu CEO Joseph Lalooyer inside an Air Vanuatu plane

By Jonas Cullwick

Air Vanuatu and Qantas currently are code-sharing on Air Vanuatu’s flights between Brisbane and Santo, but not on the flights to Port Vila, says the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Air Vanuatu, Joseph Laloyer.

“The codeshare relationship is very good between Air Vanuatu and Qantas.

“We are currently code sharing on our flights between Brisbane and Santo, but not on the flights to Port Vila,” Laloyer said.

He said what is holding up the return of the codeshares on the Port Vila route is Bauerfield Airport runway situation. Once that problem is solved Qantas is ready to come back in code-sharing on Vila-Australia route, he added.

He said very shortly they will have the Qantas Manager Compliance coming over to Port Vila and during his visit here they will have further talks with Qantas on the subject.

Qantas suspended its codeshare with Air Vanuatu on flights to Port Vila since January 2016 after Air New Zealand suspended its flights due to safety concerns as a result of the poor condition of the airport runway. Since then a rehabilitation program was completed financed by the Vanuatu Government but the whole repair and rehabilitation program financed by the World Bank is expected to start soon with the aim to entice the return of traditional carriers and plans to attract long haul flights.

“On the regional routes, we’re talking about opening up Santo-Noumea and Tanna-Noumea,” CEO Laloyer added.

“The discussion is currently going on between the government of Vanuatu and the government of New Caledonia. Once this is sorted out we will start operating those two ports, we hope before the middle of the year.”

They will soon open code-sharing with Air Niugini between Port Vila and Port Moresby and they’re talking with Air Caledonie International for July this year to start codeshare between the two airlines.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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