Airports Vanuatu Ltd (AVL) wishes to update all stakeholders on its governance and Board composition following the General Election and a strategic update by the new Board.
AVL Board resignations
AVL’s Chairman, Bakoa Kaltongga, has resigned from the Board prior to contesting in the recent general elections and subsequently being elected as a Member of Parliament. He was joined in resigning from AVL’s Board by Jean-Claude Emelee, former first political advisor to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities.
AVL and the Board sincerely thank Mr Emelee and Chairman Kaltongga for their contributions to AVL. Chairman Kaltongga provided significant leadership to AVL, which led to the turnaround of the company through a challenging period of post-Cyclone Pam recovery to a period of growth. Under his direction, AVL completed the Port Vila Airport runway rehabilitation project and reported a record-breaking run of passenger throughput. Mr Emelee actively engaged with external agencies through the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities to promote airport developments for the benefit of the nation. His many contributions include driving significant progress towards addressing the country’s upper airspace management issues.
Iaken Kiero appointed to the Board and the role of Chairman
Iaken Kiero has joined the Board of AVL, representing the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, and on joining, was elected Chairman by his fellow Board members. Mr Kiero joins the Board with a background in commerce as the former General Manager of the Tafea Cooperative Association. He expressed his commitment to the re-establishment of air travel, following the Covid-19 crisis and Tropical Cyclone Harold and his confidence in AVL’s management and business plan. Mr Kiero said “I believe having a compliant team is everything needed to become successful. With the relationship between the Board of Directors and the Management of AVL, I look forward to achieving great things together“.
Strategic Update: a meeting of Vanuatu’s aviation network
Mr Kiero’s first act as Chairman has been to instigate a meeting of AVL and the new Board of Air Vanuatu, to discuss continued close collaboration to drive forward the aviation industry in the national interest. On behalf of his colleagues, Air Vanuatu’s Chairman, Sam Firi, welcomed the opportunity to meet with AVL’s Board and discuss opportunities to align their interests.
AVL CEO reflects on a pivotal moment for AVL
Jason Rakau, CEO of AVL said, “AVL welcomes our incoming Chairman and salutes our outgoing Chairman. Under Chairman Kaltongga’s leadership, AVL forged a path from the trough of Cyclone Pam to delivering record passenger throughput, growing 29% over those four years and facilitating air travel for 172,000 more people in 2019 than it did in 2016. Now we welcome the commercial insight and experience Chairman Kiero will bring to AVL as we move the focus of our business from an infrastructure-base to a customer-centric business. Going forwards, AVL is committed to putting the passenger at the heart of everything we do. We are confident Chairman Kiero will provide us with guidance and support to achieve our strategic objectives”.
AVL and Air Vanuatu are actively working on the Department of Tourism’s Tourism Crises Response & Recovery Plan alongside multiple private sector stakeholders, planning the recovery of air access to our island nation, which is critical in enabling the social and economic recovery from TC Harold and Covid-19. At the fore of all planning are considerations for the public health protocols required, to protect both ni-Vanuatu and visitors.