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Administrators have issued a message of hope for the future of Air Vanuatu just 24 hours after the national carrier suspended all flights.

The Vanuatu government placed the airline into voluntary liquidation yesterday amid reports it was facing bankruptcy.

Representatives of the voluntary liquidator, Ernst & Young Australia (EY), are now in Vanuatu conducting safety and maintenance checks of the fleet, which remains grounded until at least May 12.

In a statement released today, EY said their appointment follows a challenging period for the global aviation industry, including labour shortages, inflation affecting input costs and a global increasing cost of credit environment.

Air Vanuatu has been particularly affected by disruption of tourism activity due to cyclones.

The liquidators say they intend to resume normal trading as soon as possible, while considering all opportunities to place the carrier on a stronger footing.

“Air Vanuatu is critical to the people of the Republic of Vanuatu and a strategically important business to the nation,” said Morgan Kelly, Partner in Strategy & Transactions at EY.

“Our team is working closely with management to ensure continuity of service to customers and to ensure services continue as seamlessly as possible.”

“The outlook for the airline is positive, despite pressures on the broader industry, and we will be focused on securing the future of this strategically vital national carrier.”

The liquidators claim affected travellers will be informed of this disruption and rebooked on flights as soon as operations resume. The first meeting of creditors will be scheduled shortly.

The news came shortly after a major earthquake struck the islands, causing further flight disruption. The 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit about 8.17pm local time on Wednesday. It originated 95km from Luganville, located on the island of Espiritu Santo, at a depth of 15km.