Solomon Airlines first flight from Brisbane to Vanuatu lands to round of applause

Solomon Airlines first flight from Brisbane to Vanuatu lands to round of applause
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Solomon Airlines first flight from Brisbane to Vanuatu’s Santo Espiritu landed to an applause from onlookers and a water canon salute at Santo-Pekoa International Airport today.

    It marks the recommencement of a weekly international service from the Queensland capital.

    On departure from Brisbane International Airport passengers were presented with a souvenir Flight Certificate to mark the occasion and in Santo were warmly welcomed with fresh salusalu (floral lei), a musical welcome by a local string band and fresh coconuts, which were handed to every passenger.

    Solomon Airlines will operate Flight IE726 as a 2-hour 50-minute non-stop service every Thursday departing at 9am, arriving in Santo at 12.50pm local time. Return services from Santo will operate on Thursdays as Flight IE726 departing Santo at 1.50pm arriving Port Vila at 2.35pm, departing Port Vila as Flight IE718 at 3.35pm arriving in Brisbane at 5.40pm.

    Locals welcome the first Solomons Airlines flight Brisbane.

    Vanuatu Tourism Office CEO, Adela Issachar Aru said the nation was thrilled to welcome the first flight back to Espiritu Santo.

    “The Santo industry and community are buzzing with excitement to greet Aussie travellers and showcase all the incredible experiences the northern region has to offer,” Aru said.

    “This direct service allows visitors to Answer the Call of Vanuatu once again, making it easier than ever for Aussies to explore the wonders of Santo, from the pristine beaches of the Champagne Coast to the sensational blue holes.

    “The re-established connectivity, thanks to Solomon Airlines, provides a welcome boost to the local tourism economy, and will help us to continually see Australian visitation numbers rise as we welcome holidaymakers to our shores in 2024 and beyond.”

    The weekly Airbus A320 service reopens an important direct route for passengers and freight between Australia and Vanuatu, via the Brisbane gateway. Espiritu Santo, located in Vanuatu’s northern islands is the country’s largest island and one of its most popular international holiday destinations.

    It follows the collapse of Air Vanuatu which has filed for insolvency, cancelling flights to and from Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland.

    Solomon Airlines, Qantas and Jetstar in battle of the Pacific over flights to Vanuatu

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