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Virgin Australia back in the air to Vanuatu after three-year hiatus

One of Australia’s favourite South Pacific destinations is back on the Virgin Australia map.

Vanuatu warriors welcomed Virgin Australia back to the island.

It has been a long time between cocktails but Virgin Australia has finally resumed flights to one of our Pacific Island neighbours.

The airline’s first service to Port Vila in Vanuatu in three years took off from Brisbane on Friday. VA will now operate five flights a week between the two destinations during peak periods on 737-800 aircraft.

“This is an important and longstanding connection for Virgin Australia, which started flying between Australia and Vanuatu nearly 20 years ago,” said Alistair Hartley, Virgin Australia Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer.

“This is also really positive news for Vanuatu which relies on connections like these as a source of tourism and to connect friends and family across the Pacific.”

Travellers were incredibly excited to return.

Guests travelling on the route will be able to access extensive connectivity through Brisbane to the rest of the Virgin Australia domestic and short haul international network.

“Australian visitation has continued to rise steadily since Vanuatu’s borders reopened in July 2022 and greater connectivity to Vanuatu, thanks to Virgin Australia, will help us welcome even more holidaymakers to our shores in 2023 and beyond,” said Adela Issachar Aru, Vanuatu Tourism Office CEO.

“We are excited to see more Australians answer the call of Vanuatu and look forward to seeing Virgin Australia’s red and purple in our skies again.”

The Vanuatu resumption is the latest step in rebuilding the carrier’s short-haul international network and comes after services to Samoa and a new Gold Coast-Bali route took off recently.

New short haul international services will see VA grow its international capacity by 50 per cent from FY23 to FY24.

The airline’s short haul international network now includes Bali, Queenstown, Nadi, Port Vila and Apia, as well as Tokyo (Haneda) which will begin in June.

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Written by: Jon Underwood
Published: 3 April 2023

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