Air Vanuatu has signed a firm order with Airbus for four Airbus A220 aircraft. Air Vanuatu’s first-ever order with Airbus makes it the launch operator of the A220 in the Pacific region. The order includes two A220-100 series aircraft with 108 seats and two A220-300 series aircraft with 133 seats.
“These aircraft will be deployed to operate our current international and domestic network, including our newly announced non-stop Melbourne to Port Vila service, and will bolster plans to expand our network to new destinations throughout the South Pacific,” said Air Vanuatu’s CEO Derek Nice.
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, said: “By ordering the A220, Air Vanuatu is making a significant investment in advanced technology and superior passenger comfort, while demonstrating its respect for fuel efficiency and the environment. Air Vanuatu’s decision to place the Airbus A220 at the centre of its expansion plans will surely keep it one step ahead of the competition.”
The A220’s passenger experience includes wider seats, more legroom and bigger windows. Its advanced technology brings much greater fuel efficiency and lower noise levels. These aircraft can be economically operated on domestic services, regional routes and into the new long-haul markets that are key to Air Vanuatu’s growth plan.
The Airbus jets will replace Air Vanuatu’s current ATR 72-600 aircraft, and will be used on domestic and regional international routes. They have a seating configuration of just over 100 passengers, which is an increase of 40 seats. They will typically be operated on flights between Port Vila, Santo and Tanna, and overseas to Fiji, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands, linking Vanuatu’s outer islands to regional international countries for the first time.
Air Vanuatu is expecting the first Airbus A220 delivery in June 2020. The airline has purchase rights for four additional aircraft, which give it the potential to increase its order to eight aircraft in total.
Lead image: Livery of the Air Vanuatu A220-100