Air Vanuatu Liquidation Strands Thousands: Revival Plans Underway

Air Vanuatu goes into liquidation, thousands of passengers stranded | Aviation News

Air Vanuatu Faces Liquidation, Thousands of Passengers Stranded

Air Vanuatu, the national carrier of the Pacific Islands nation of Vanuatu, has entered into liquidation, leaving thousands of travelers stranded. This unfortunate event occurred a day after the airline cancelled all flights, citing “extended maintenance requirements” on their aircraft. Over 20 flights to and from Sydney, Brisbane, and Auckland were halted, triggering a wave of uncertainty among passengers.

Consultants Seek Swift Resolution

EY, the international consultants appointed by the government to oversee the liquidation process, have assured stranded travelers of their commitment to get the company’s aircraft back in operation as soon as possible. However, they have not yet provided a specific date for the resumption of flights. This process involves working with the airline’s management to carry out necessary safety and maintenance checks.

Impact on Vanuatu’s Economy

Air Vanuatu operates four planes between the country’s islands, Australia, New Zealand, and other South Pacific island nations. These services significantly contribute to the country’s tourism sector, which accounts for about a third of the national economy. The liquidation of Air Vanuatu is, therefore, not just a logistical challenge but also a significant economic setback.

Global Aviation Industry Challenges

According to EY, the liquidation comes after a challenging period for the global aviation industry. They pointed to labor shortages, rising operating costs, and disruptions from extreme weather conditions as contributing factors. Despite these challenges, EY remains optimistic about the airline’s future, describing Air Vanuatu as a “strategically vital national carrier”.

Next Steps

The first meeting for creditors will be scheduled soon. Meanwhile, the current management team will stay in place to navigate the airline through this challenging period. Australian carrier Qantas Airways has offered support to its codeshare passengers who were booked on Air Vanuatu flights. Discussions are also under way with Virgin Australia and Fiji Airways to fly stranded passengers to their destinations.


The liquidation of Air Vanuatu serves as a stark reminder of the pressures facing the global aviation industry. While it’s a significant blow to Vanuatu’s tourism-dependent economy, efforts are underway to minimize the impact on stranded passengers and restore normal operations. The future of Air Vanuatu hangs in the balance as the international consultants, EY, work to steer the airline through this crisis.