Air Vanuatu’s Collapse Raises Concerns About the Future of Pacific Airlines

For Vanuatu resort owner Joel Slattery, the collapse of the nation’s airline this month seemed inevitable, but its demise, following a series of other crises, has still hit the tourism industry hard.

“It’s affected a lot of people, just after we’ve all come through COVID and cyclones,” Mr. Slattery said. “As if we don’t have enough natural disasters, we don’t need this mess on top of all that.”

State-owned Air Vanuatu had long been plagued by issues such as flight delays and cancellations. A report by its liquidator, Ernst & Young, revealed the airline had been in financial distress, burdened with large debts and unable to pay for spare parts needed to keep its sole Boeing 737 operational. Mr. Slattery, who operates The Moso resort near the capital Port Vila, said the airline’s troubles had already taken a toll on Vanuatu’s tourism.

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