PORT VILA (RNZ PACIFIC) — Air Vanuatu customers are facing major disruptions to their travel plans following mechanical issues with an aircraft at the weekend.
The airline said it has reached out to partner airlines for support with flying the impacted passengers while its plane awaits parts.
“However, unfortunately there are no additional services available at this time,” the airline said in a statement on Sunday.
“Most Air Vanuatu international flights to and from Brisbane, Sydney and Auckland will not be operational until Tuesday at the earliest,” it added.
Call centres were closed on the weekend, upsetting hundreds of passengers who took to social media to express their frustrations.
One impacted customer said they and their family of five were supposed to fly with the airline on Monday from Australia, but their flight has been cancelled.
They said they “have employed people to look after their business, taken time off work…not to mention the 10-hour drive to get to this first flight.”
Another customer called it some sort of funny April Fool’s Day joke for an airline to cancel several flights and not operate a call centre at the weekend.
Air Vanuatu said it was “deeply sorry” for the disruptions.
All their teams will be on deck today to process customer enquiries.
For passengers flying from New Zealand the only other way to get to Vanuatu is through New Caledonia or Fiji, with an overnight stopover.
Air Vanuatu provides the only direct service to Bauerfield International Airport in Port Vila from Australia and New Zealand.
The disruption is expected to have wider impacts for the recovering tourism sector following last month’s twin cyclone disaster…. PACNEWS