Airports Vanuatu begins networking for long haul flights

Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL) is preparing for Vanuatu’s international airport to receive long haul flights in the future once the Bauerfield runway project is completed.

Recently a delegation led by Chairman of Airports Vanuatu Limited, Mr Bakoa Kaltongga, attended an international aviation conference in China.

The delegation included Chief Executive Officer, Jason Rakau, and Vice Chairman of the Board Mr Adrian Sinclair.

“We attended a large international airports conference, which was the World Routes 2018 in Guangzhou, China.

“This followed on from an earlier conference we had in Sydney, which was the Asian Routes, except on a much larger scale and involves some 700 airports and 300 airlines from around the world including 130 tourism authorities and about 110 countries and 80 speakers that participated.

“There was a total of 3,000 delegates of which AVL as a member attended as well.

“The attendance of world routes is essential. It is a meeting that is arranged by airports to host airlines.

“Basically over the three days duration of the conference, you as an airport you’re able to meet both the airports and the airlines and essentially exchange business cards and set up networks with respect to aviation, especially when you’re developing routes.

“It has become quite an essential part of Airports Vanuatu because of the embarkment of the construction and development of our airports both Bauerfield and perhaps later on Santo, to facilitate long haul flights.

“It is important that we need to talk to the airports that planes are going to fly to and talk to airlines that possibly that could come here from long haul routes or develop some sorts of arrangement with Air Vanuatu or other airlines that is flying to other countries to Vanuatu.

“This is the sort of exposure we need in order to develop the routes and also set up the networks that would enable to facilitate long haul flights to Vanuatu,” Mr Kaltongga said.

He said they spoke to 10 airlines and six airports.

These include the airports being targeted and meetings are based on the strategy developed by AVL in conjunction with Air Vanuatu and Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) .

The first part is to work on traditional markets and expand capacity in terms of seats and building those markets and getting a lot more tourists through a marketing program with VTO.

Secondly to build the bridge between the long haul markets through other airports like Nadi in Fiji and other airlines like Fiji Airways or Australia through Sydney or Brisbane from Singapore and other Asian markets.

The third stage is to launch these markets directly.

“The people we’ve met with is based on the three-pronged strategy we’ve adopted.

“We’ve basically met our traditional airports around the region, which are Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane, we’ve also met Melbourne Airport and Christchurch Airport who are interested in securing flights between Vila and in the region.

“We’ve also met Qantas and Virgin (airlines) and we’ve met also Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and the new Beijing Airport and the Hainan subsidiaries and Hong Kong Airlines and we’ve met Shanghai Airport as well and this are basically to set up the network to facilitate long haul flights,” Kaltongga said.

He said ideally in 10 years time Vanuatu should have long haul flights to Singapore, China, and to the United States and traditional markets.

These preparations are underway as Bauerfield Airport runway project to. Saws Daily Post Vanuatu

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