Air Vanuatu’s inaugural Melbourne-Port Vila

Air Vanuatu’s inaugural non-stop Melbourne to Port Vila flight takes off

21 June, 2019 – Air Vanuatu, Vanuatu’s national carrier, and The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO), have had a big week toasting the launch of their new direct, thrice-weekly, flight connecting Melbourne and Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila, with the official inaugural flight touching down yesterday.  

With the support of Melbourne Airport, the celebrations culminated with formalities and speeches ahead of the official inaugural flight, including a few words from The Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu Charlot Salwai Tabimasma, as well as Melbourne local personality Lauren Phillips setting off to Vanuatu on the flight. Passengers were also greeted with a “welkam” performance from a local Ni-Van string band. 

The week-long celebrations also saw the Victorian capital treated to a taste of the South Pacific archipelago with a series of exciting events taking place in the lead-up to yesterday’s launch flight. Kicking off at Federation Square’s Transit Rooftop Bar on Tuesday evening with a trade launch event, guests donned customary floral garlands and sipped organic Tanna Coffee espresso martinis, while being entertained by a traditional Ni-Vanuatu string band. Guests toasted to making Vanuatu even more accessible for Aussies while hearing from a handful of key speakers including Air Vanuatu’s CEO Derek Nice, VTO’s CEO Adela Issachar Aru and Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation David Hall.

It was then on to Melbourne’s busy Southern Cross Station on Wednesday morning where, in conjunction with Flight Centre, commuters were treated to their morning brew – island style – with a pop-up beach bar themed coffee cart serving Tanna Coffee espressos and macchiatos. While Melburnian’s got their caffeine hit, Flight Centre agents were on hand to tempt commuters with an exclusive flash sale to Vanuatu.

The non-stop route marks a new era in travel for Air Vanuatu, expanding the airline’s offering in Australia and bringing the South Pacific nation closer to Victorians. Vanuatu’s national carrier will have Melburnian’s enjoying a more exciting way to relax in just over four hours, with a land of uncharted wilderness, ancient traditions, pristine oceans and rugged landscapes waiting to be explored.

The flights, which have been scheduled at convenient times, will depart Melbourne at 07.00 (local time) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, arriving in Port Vila at 12.30 (local time). Onward connections are available from Port Vila to 28 destinations across Vanuatu. The return leg will depart Port Vila at 16.15 (local time) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, arriving in Melbourne at 20.15 (local time). Flight times are subject to change.

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