Twin Otter sent to Vanuatu to be back by July


Solomon Airlines Twin Otter aircraft and operating crew assisting Vanuatu’s recovery efforts following the devastation caused by cyclones Judy and Kevin in March this year will return by July.

The national carrier had sent the Twin Otter aircraft to assist Vanuatu’s recovery efforts.

The 19-seat Twin Otter and flight crew joined the Air Vanuatu’s fleet for over a month now, to provide much needed operational capacity as the airline strives to restore vital domestic operations.

Solomon Airlines Twin Otter aircraft registered H4-OTA and crew transferred to Vanuatu on April 5, 2023 and based in Port Vila.

The aircraft departed from Honiara to Santa Cruz then onwards to Santo, Vanuatu, before ultimately arriving in Port Vila.

Speaking in a media conference on Tuesday this week, Solomon Airlines CEO Gus Kraus said the Twin Otter aircraft was supposed to be back by the end of this month.

Mr. Kraus also spent an overnight trip to Vanuatu on Tuesday 9th – Wednesday 10th to discuss further cooperation with his Vanuatu counterparts on areas of mutual interest.

One area in particular is the strengthening further partnership with Vanuatu airline to capture the upcoming South Pacific games in November this year.

“We probably anticipate second airbus probably by July 2023 at the very latest August in time hopefully to capture some of the SP games business but in addition to that I will be leaving to go to Vila overnight trip for added discussions with our new partner Air Vanuatu.

“From the 5th of June 2023 we are operating Vanuatu flights from Brisbane to Santo and return as well as from the 5th of June we will extend our Vila overnight to overnight in Auckland, that’s been advised but we just want to strengthen the ties up because we want to continue to have our Twin Otter at least in Vanuatu to help them out.

“They advised that instead of the end of May for us to bring it back they would like to bring it back in July when the second Twin Otter is up and running.

“So, it’s a matter of working out what the details are. The meeting is to ensure that we are on the same page.

In an earlier statement Mr Kraus said Vanuatu is a Pacific neighbour and Air Vanuatu a valued partner airline. They have asked for our help during this crisis and we will do our utmost to assist them.

“We are seeing renewed and more comprehensive partnerships with our neighbouring Pacific Islands and other national carriers in our region, and as such in good times and in difficult times we can maximise opportunities and provide support to each other,” said Mr Kraus.

In January this year the CEOs of Solomon Airlines and Air Vanuatu met for two days of discussions to further their Melanesian ties and discuss greater cooperation between the national carriers.

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