Air New Zealand reinforces need for permanent Vanuatu runway solution

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Air New Zealand has today written to the Director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu to clarify the circumstances under which it would consider resuming services between Auckland and Port Vila.

The letter makes it clear that Air New Zealand would only consider resuming services once a permanent solution for the runway at Bauerfield airfield has been fully funded, designed to a satisfactory standard and contracted to a competent contractor.

Air New Zealand General Manager Flight Operations, Stephen Hunt, says that while interim repairs are currently underway the one year lifespan of these repairs does not provide sufficient operational certainty to build a sustainable service on.

“We continue to monitor the situation in Port Vila and we’re encouraged with the Vanuatu Government progressing the current World Bank Pacific Aviation Investment Program in relation to Bauerfield.”

Air New Zealand is hopeful that the current proposed works to permanently resolve the operational integrity concerns at Bauerfield will proceed without further delay, strengthening the prospect of a resumption of services later this year.

“The decision to suspend services was not taken lightly, however, providing a safe and secure operation is paramount and non-negotiable.”

(Image: Petter Lundkvist)

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