Air Vanuatu receives flak for poor service

The struggling national airline, that went through a downsizing of staff recently, has received a lot of flak after a post on social media telling its customers to call the airline and reconfirm their flights one day before departure.

Air Vanuatu even provided contacts for its reservations offices in Port Vila, Santo and Tanna.

The post on Air Vanuatu’s Facebook page has received much criticism from members of the public.

Much of the comments say once a ticket is paid, it is the airline’s duty to reconfirm if there has been a change to the flight.

Some called the post on the airline’s Facebook page a joke, on top of the already very expensive inter-island airfare fees.

One suggestion was for the airline to use the two telecommunication companies, Digicel and Vodafone, to send out notices to passengers, like what the Vanuatu Ferry passenger boat is currently doing.

Coupled with the effects of COVID-19, it is understood the airline is walking a tightrope financially as there have been no regular international flights and frequent cancellation of domestic flights.

With the recent return of the ATR-72 aircraft, the domestic service is still facing issues as one passenger says they reconfirmed their flight on Tuesday, as instructed by the airline’s Facebook post, to travel on Wednesday but only to find out on Wednesday that the flight has been cancelled.

The airline’s administration office has already moved out of the building owned by Vanuatu National Provident Fund in Port Vila town, next to the National Bank, and moved to the top floor of the international terminal at the Port Vila International Airport.

At this stage the Air Vanuatu Management and Board are yet to reveal how many staff were affected by the downsizing exercise.

The airline’s financial woes are not new as the Government of Vanuatu has stepped in before to bail out the airline from its financial obligations.

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