Air Vanuatu Plans Major Domestic And International Expansion
In this comprehensive interview, Air Vanuatu CEO Derek Nice discusses the small flag carrier’s recent A220 order, plans for expanding the turboprop fleet, expected improvements in connectivity, the anticipated growth of tourism in Vanuatu and the airline’s corresponding projected growth rate. Air Vanuatu plans to take its first two A220s in 2020 followed by a third aircraft in 2021 and 2022. The new type will be used to increase frequencies to its five jet destinations, which are now served with 737s that will be phased out. Overall capacity will increase substantially and connectivity will improve as more frequencies to Oceania’s main gateways support long haul visitor growth from Europe, North America and particularly Asia. Vanuatu is also planning significant domestic expansion as domestic airports are upgraded, the ATR 72 fleet grows and small turboprops are replaced. Vanuatu is experiencing strong visitor growth, including smaller domestic destinations such as Tanna. Rapid inbound growth is expected to continue, driven mainly by China and other Asian source markets, and facilitated by the connectivity improvements as Air Vanuatu expands.