Vila Times

Air Vanuatu Apologizes To Customers

Air Vanuatu Apologizes To Customers
Air Vanuatu Apologizes To Customers
Vila Times’s Mobile Application

Air Vanuatu’s chief executive officer Derek Nice has apologized to passengers affected by the airline’s recent engineering related delays.
‘We fully appreciate the disruption this has caused to the travel plans of many locals and visitors at this very busy holiday time. Of particular regret was the time it took to complete our charter flights from Honiara for a private group,” Mr. Nice said.
“Our engineering team discovered a fault with our Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the ground in Port Vila on the morning of 22 December. After analyzing damage to a major flight control component and in consultation with the Civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu and the aircraft manufacturer we made the decision to fly the aircraft without passengers to Melbourne where we could make the repairs.
Unfortunately it took a full day to locate a replacement part, which understandably further frustrated some of our passengers who were hoping for confirmed departure times. We had to wait for information from our engineering partners before we could provide meaningful updates.
“We found a replacement part at a Boeing facility in Singapore and then had to organize its shipping to Australia from there. We had wonderful support from Qantas and Boeing, but it still took more than 24 hours to return the aircraft to service. Happening on our busiest week of the year this meant hundreds of passengers were stranded in Port Vila, Santo, Sydney, Melbourne and Honiara.
Mr. Nice said as many passengers as possible were moved to flights with other carriers, including Virgin Australia, and our partner Nauru Airlines stepped up to operate additional charter flights for us.
Mr. Nice said Air Vanuatu also sought to charter additional aircraft from other airlines, including Qantas, but unfortunately none could free up the planes or crews.
“Behind the scenes our operations, planning, crewing, engineering and reservations teams were working around the clock to find solutions to get our passengers to their destinations as soon as possible.
Mr. Nice said Air Vanuatu provided accommodation and meals for away-fromhome passengers in Vila and other airports throughout our system.
“With every delay situation there is much that can be learnt and for us, this was an exceptional challenging situation with many lessons for us to learn from. We have already begun discussing necessary steps to improve our service. We acknowledge there are improvements to be made, from communicating with our passengers to ensuring we have appropriate staff on hand to better managing the delay.”
Mr. Nice said the airline was committed to improving its service and contacting as many as possible affected passengers to offer the airline’s sincerest apologies and request for feedback.