Air Vanuatu 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 on Thursday, 20 June.
With the support of Melbourne Airport, the celebrations included 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 Tabimasmas. Passengers were greeted with a ‘welkam’ performance from a Vanuatu string band, and were treated to the sight of Melbourne TV presenter Lauren Phillips setting off to Vanuatu on the flight.
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. 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 Melburnians 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 Melburnians enjoying a more exciting way to relax in just over four hours, with a land of life-changing adventure, ancient traditions, pristine oceans and rugged landscapes waiting to be explored.
The flights are scheduled at convenient times, departing Melbourne at 7am (local time) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and arriving in Port Vila at 12.30pm (local time). Onward connections are available from Port Vila to 28 destinations across Vanuatu. The return leg departs Port Vila at 4.15pm (local time) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, arriving in Melbourne at 8.15pm (local time). Flight times are subject to change.
More at www.airvanuatu.com