Air Vanuatu will resume flights to Longana airport on Ambae later this week after receiving advice operations with non-turboprop aircraft could resume, subject to increased safety measures.
The airline has discontinued turboprop (Twin Otter) operations to Longana airport to eliminate risk from volcanic ash on the aircraft type.
Chief Executive Officer Joseph Laloyer said Air Vanuatu has been closely monitoring Longana flights and deemed any risk to their aircraft would be too high to continue Twin Otter operations whilst volcanic ash continues to be present.
“The airline’s non-turboprop aircraft, the Britten-Norman Islander has been deemed safe to fly to Longana by our flight operations, engineering and safety systems departments subject to daily ash reports from the island,” he said.
Air Vanuatu will base the Islander in Santo to operate to Longana as required.
“There is a backlog of passengers (wanting to travel to and from Longana) which we will address this week. Passengers from Vila will fly to Santo on our ATR then connect on the islander to Longana.”
The airline will only operate to Longana when safe to do so; all passengers booked to fly to Longana should be prepared for possible cancellations should the ash increase.
“Unfortunately, the situation on Ambae is beyond our control and we expect further delays and cancellations to occur whilst ash continues to fall. All ticketed passengers will need to reconfirm their flights on the day of departure until further notice,” Mr. Laloyer said.
Air Vanuatu will provide updates where possible of flight cancellations via their website, social media and local radio.