Qantas Suspends Codeshare with Air Vanuatu

22nd Jan 2016

Australian carrier Qantas has canceled its codeshare with Air Vanuatu effective immediately. The reason behind this is the company's concern over the conditions of the runway at Port Vila.

In an official announcement about this, a spokeswoman for Qantas said:

"We are currently talking to customers affected about their options and apologize for any inconvenience this might cause. We are continuing our assessment of the situation and the options for customers who have commenced travel or who are booked on returning services."

What the decision basically means is that Qantas will no longer sell flights to Port Vila from Brisbane or Sydney with Air Vanuatu on its site.

Before Qantas, Air New Zealand also made the same decision and suspended its codeshare with Vanuatu's national airline. AirNZ announced this Friday that it is cancelling its weekly service between Auckland and Vanuatu as well the codeshares it has with Air Vanuatu for the same reason Qantas stated.

Stephen Hunt, General Manager of Air New Zealand in charge of flight operations said the following about cancelling codeshare with Air Vanuatu:

"We have taken the difficult decision to suspend services before the situation becomes unsafe."

Customer care spokeswoman for Air New Zealand Debbie McKeown said that although the decision will probably be unpopular with the passengers, the airline had their safety and well-being in mind when they made it:

"Unfortunately, we will only be able to carry customers who are completing a return journey on Sunday flights. We will make contact with customers we've booked directly with Air New Zealand to explain their options."

The two airlines could soon be joined by Virgin Australia. According to the spokeswoman for this airline, VA will send safety experts to Port Vale airport this weekend to check on the state of the runway.

Virgin Australia operates a service between Brisbane and Port Vila.

In the meantime, Air Vanuatu is still planning to fly to this Friday and Saturday to Sydney and Brisbane, at least according to its website. The carrier did say there will be certain delays, stating an "operational issue" as the official reason.