Pacific island carrier Air Vanuatu has signed a first-ever order with Airbus after signing a firm order for four A220s (two A220-100s and two A220-300s) – making it the launch customer of the aircraft in the region.
Based at Bauerfield International Airport in the capital Port Vila, Air Vanuatu operates to 26 domestic airports and internationally to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. Currently the airline operates a Boeing 737 and ATR 72 fleet.
Air Vanuatu chief executive officer, Derek Nice said: “We are proud to be the launch airline in the South Pacific of the best-in-class Airbus A220.
“These aircraft will be deployed to operate on our current domestic and international routes, including our newly announced non-stop Melbourne-Vanuatu service, and will bolster plans to expand our network in the South Pacific.”
Airbus said the A220’s performance and range capabilities will enable Air Vanuatu to streamline its current operations and launch a growth plan that is a key pillar of Vanuatu’s economic development goals.
With an order book of over 530 aircraft to date, the Airbus says the A220 has “all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market” – estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.