Air Vanuatu this week welcomed the first visit of the Airbus A220 ahead of the aircraft joining the airline’s fleet in June 2020. Air Vanuatu is the launch customer in the South Pacific region for the A220, the most advanced airliner in its class, featuring new manufacturing technologies, reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions, lower operating costs and a more attractive passenger cabin.
The jet, which featured the colours of A220 launch customer airBaltic, was greeted in Port Vila by distinguished guests, among them government officials, international ambassadors, industry partners and media.
Guests were invited to tour the A220 before enjoying a flight over Port Vila city harbour and the volcanoes of Tanna, and then landing at Santo-Pekoa Airport, Espiritu Santo.
Upon arrival, guests were treated to a performance by cultural dancers before speeches from The Honourable Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, Air Vanuatu Chief Executive Officer Derek Nice and Airbus Executive Vice-President Sales Christopher Buckley.
“The Air Vanuatu aircraft will have the Air Vanuatu logo but in fact the aircraft belongs to all of Vanuatu as the entire community has come together to make this work for us,” Nice said.
“We had the support of the government and the private sector. The enthusiasm of the whole country has been overwhelming so we’re very grateful to everybody. When the aircraft arrives, it will be a tribute to everyone in Vanuatu.”
Vanuatu was the first stop on the aircraft’s extensive tour of the South Pacific which will see Airbus highlight the A220’s performance across the region.
The A220’s superior passenger experience includes the quietest cabin, widest seats, largest windows and most overhead bin space in the aircraft’s market segment.
The new aircraft’s performance and range capabilities will enable Air Vanuatu to streamline its current operations and launch a growth plan that is a key pillar of Vanuatu’s economic development goals.