A recalculation of the outstanding unpaid rent Air Vanuatu owes to Parliament has put the total at over VT30 million.
The amount is the unpaid rental of the Parliament Restaurant by Air Vanuatu which has accumulated for over a decade.
The Parliament Restaurant is located between the National Convention Center and the Parliament building.
It has been rented to Air Vanuatu Catering since 2002. The rental debt begun on September that year and accumulated till June 2019 to the amount stated above.
A close source within the Air Vanuatu Catering said the company has received three notices from the office of the Parliament to vacate the building on different occasions.
After numerous attempts yesterday, Daily Post managed to reach the Air Vanuatu Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in Melbourne for comment on the reported outstanding VT30 million rent dating back to 2002.
“We do not know if this is true as it has never been invoiced. I can’t speak for former management, but i was certainly not aware of this,” CEO Derek Nice stated.
“We have paid all the invoices we have received from Parliament except the most recent three, which total VT450,000, of which VT150,000 is past due.
“This will be paid as part of a cheque swap with the government, as has been our normal practice.”
He, however, mentioned that Air Vanuatu may not have been getting the invoice for the full amount owed.
“At a recent meeting, we were advised by Parliament that they have discovered that they have not been invoicing the full amount they believe owing to them,” the Air Van CEO added.
“They committed to calculate this amount and to share their calculation with us. As of today, we have not yet received their analysis.”
Daily Post understands the absence of a written contract between Parliament and Air Vanuatu may have contributed to the difference in the figures provided.
Earlier this month we reported that Air Vanuatu is introducing a number of changes to its international inflight catering services towards providing more options for passengers and increase environmental sustainability, while reducing operating costs.
The airline also announced that it is launching a new range of Business Class and Economy Class meals, offering passengers a bigger selection.
Air Vanuatu’s announcement at the time included relocating to a new and more efficient catering center just a kilometer from Port Vila’s Bauerfield International Airport and reducing staff to ten fewer positions.
Daily Post was told that Air Vanuatu Catering has been given until the 24th of this month to vacate the Parliament Restaurant premises due to its unpaid debt.