Since December last year, Air Taxi Vanuatu recognised a need to improve the reliability and safety of their single-engine aircraft fleet.
Air Taxi Vanuatu CEO, Julia Johnstone says, the single-engine market makes chartered flights affordable to the general public. She says, Air Taxi Vanuatu have a five-seater Cessna 206 aircraft based in Santo and a six-seater Cessna 207 aircraft based in Port Vila.
The CEO says, the Cessna 207, registered YJ-TAN, has an upgraded IO-550 engine, a more powerful, reliable engine from a state of the art overhaul facility in Australia. In addition Air Taxi has installed a brand new, larger yet quieter and more powerful ‘Hartzell’ propeller.
Johnstone says ,new digital engine instruments have been fitted to improve reliability especially when it comes to reading the cylinder head temperature,exhaust gas temperature, and general oil pressure and temperature, along with new tachometer, fuel flow and manifold pressure gauges.
She says the 206 aircraft registered YJ-VAC which is currently based in Santo has a new IO-520 engine fitted, also recently overhauled at the state of the art facility in Australia and has also been fitted with a new and upgraded GPS.
Air Taxi Vanuatu’s aircrafts operate under the Visual Flight Rules (VFR), meaning they can only operate in good weather when the visibility is good so the pilots can use the visual features outside as reference. Under VFR they can not fly at night.
Johnstone however says one of their twin engine aircraft, the Britten Norman Islander is capable of flying under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) which allows the pilots to fly at night and in bad weather totally relying on the flight instruments when the visibility is poor.
The CEO says when charter flights from Port Vila to the other islands take place, potential passengers can buy tickets to fly back to Port Vila when the plane returns, however she says this depends on what the charter is or who is doing the charter.
Johnstone mentions there are some goods which are classed as dangerous for flying, and she says they will always comply with the Civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu and New Zealand when it comes to determining what is safe to fly.
She adds Air Taxi prides itself on customer satisfaction, price beat guarantee and aircraft reliability.