3 Aug 2016

Virgin halts flights to Vanuatu indefinitely

3:03 pm on 3 August 2016

Virgin Australia says it's halting flights to Vanuatu until further notice.

The airline says it won't be flying until it has greater confidence in the maintenance of the runway, after staff spotted a hole in it on Monday.

Staff have been conducting regular inspections since remedial works were completed earlier this year.

Air strip at Bauerfield Airport in Port Vila

Air strip at Bauerfield Airport in Port Vila Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The works were a temporary measure ahead of a full renovation funded by the World Bank which is hoped to take place this year.

When concerns were raised about the runway in January, Air New Zealand and Virgin halted flights, and Virgin began flying again in May following the repairs.

However Air New Zealand said it wouldn't resume commercial flights until the major redevelopment is fully designed and contracted.

Virgin says it will operate a return flight from Brisbane to Port Vila today, supported by additional safety measures, in order to repatriate customers out of Vanuatu.

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