Air Vanuatu is set to farewell its current Boeing 737-800 aircraft next weekend after eight years of service.
The aircraft, which has been the flagship of the national carrier, is being replaced with a brand new Next Generation Boeing 737-800.
“YJ-AV1 will be returned to Boeing in China where it will undergo end-of-lease maintenance prior to our new aircraft arriving by January 2016,” Chief Executive Officer Joseph Laloyer said.
During the transition stage, Air Vanuatu has secured the lease of another Boeing 737-800 from Transavia Airways, a subsidiary of European giant KLM. Air Vanuatu pilots and cabin crew will man the Transavia aircraft.
“AV1’s last commercial flight will be NF51 from Auckland to Vila on 14 November, after which the aircraft will be flown to China.”
Mr. Laloyer said the new Boeing 737-800 will be fitted with the roomy Sky Interior and have both drop-down screens and WIFI entertainment for the enjoyment of passengers.
“AV1 has been a terrific aircraft for Air Vanuatu but it is time to upgrade. The company has endured a difficult year but we are looking forward to 2016 and excited about new codeshare agreements in the pipeline and our new aircraft.” Mr. Laloyer said the interim charter aircraft has a slightly different configuration to the airline’s current Boeing 737-800 with more Business Class seats and a slightly smaller galley.
“We will be adjusting our catering during the transition stage in order to maintain an efficient on board service due to the reduced galley size,” he said.