Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeMoneyAir Vanuatu files for bankruptcy protection after canceling more than 20 flights

Air Vanuatu files for bankruptcy protection after canceling more than 20 flights

MELBOURNE, Australia — Air Vanuatu filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday a day after the South Pacific state-owned carrier cancelled all international flights.

Ernst & Young Australia’s Morgan Kelly, Justin Walsh and Andrew Hanson were appointed liquidators in a local equivalent of a U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the firm said in a statement.

Thousands of travelers have been left stranded by the cancellations.

The airline cancelled more than 20 flights to and from the Australian cities of Sydney and Brisbane, and the New Zealand city of Auckland for the rest of the week on Wednesday.

The airline said it was the result of “extended maintenance requirements” on their aircraft.

EY said it would conduct safety and maintenance checks before the resumption of normal operations.

Kelly said the airline’s existing management team would remain in place throughout the process.

“Air Vanuatu is critical to the people of the Republic of Vanuatu and a strategically important business to the nation,” Kelly said. “Our team is working closely with management to ensure continuity of service to customers and to ensure services continue as seamlessly as possible.”

“The outlook for the airline is positive, despite pressures on the broader industry, and we will be focused on securing the future of this strategically vital national carrier,” he added.

Affected travelers would be informed of this disruption and re-booked on flights as soon as operations resumed, the statement said.

Air Vanuatu operates four planes, including one Boeing 737 and three turboprop planes.

The Vanuatu Tourism Office apologized to travelers for the disruption.

“This is an evolving situation and we will continue to post updates,” the office said in a statement.

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