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Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

New Plymouth, New...
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Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

Air Vanuatu has just published its schedule for 28 Mar to Oct 30 2010. The Brisbane / Santo direct flights are gone. Adds another $300 at least per adult for those from Brisbane wishing to visit Santo. As I was :(

John

Campbelltown...
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1. Re: Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

Below is from the air vanuatu site........

Effective 8 February 2010, Air Vanuatu will discontinue services between Brisbane & Santo and all flights to / from Melbourne. Passengers will now have numerous flight options travelling via Sydney or Brisbane with onward domestic connections to Santo.

See our schedules page for more information

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

This is really sad!!! We only discovered Santo this year and were planning a return trip soon. This will make it so much harder and more expensive. I should think it is quite a blow for tourism in Santo too.

Melbourne
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3. Re: Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

I am disappointed the Melbourne direct flights are being cancelled. Three years ago I travelled from Melbourne to Port Vila and it was a very time consuming exercise (approximately a 12 hour trip door to door - arriving at midnight with a 2 year old). This time a group of 8 of us are flying direct from Melbourne 9am departure 2pm arrival including a Sydney stopover. When Air Van introduced the direct flights from Melbourne there was little / no marketing in Melbourne. I think they can work, though time & money needs to be invested by Air Van.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

Have you had a look at Pacific Blue? They may do direct flights.

Yes it is a shame that Air Van are discontinuing the Bne Santo direct flights. It was a great way to get there from here. I do believe they have a new inter island plane which will now need to be covered, financially. So this may be the reason.

J

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

Looks like Pacific Blue only fly via Sydney or Brisbane still ( from Melbourne that is).

It will be a bit harder for the businesses on Santo now because that extra few hundred dollars per person to get there does affect a travellers decision making process.

I'm sure they'll offer deals from time to time so we'll have to keep an eye out and let each other know when they are on.

J

Newcastle, Australia
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6. Re: Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

<<<I do believe they have a new inter island plane which will now need to be covered, financially. So this may be the reason.>>>

Yeah JT, it is a brand new ATR72 but it is only replacing the ATR42 so not sure that there is a major cost factor there.

I would suggest load factors on both flights were low and that is the reason for the cuts.

Adelaide
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7. Re: Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

There goes our Santo holiday plans for 2010! The price for flights goes up around $1000 for our family, (2 adults + 2 kids.)

As it was we would have had to get from Adelaide to either Brisbane or Sydney, before a direct flight to Santo. Now it would be Adelaide-Sydney-Port Vila-Santo. No longer viable. What a pity!

Will keep my fingers crossed for specials as we really had our hearts set on beautiful Santo.

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

That's tragic fosters!

Could you squeeze you holiday into the time before the end of March while the Santo direct flights are still on offer?

Otherwise I would recommend contacting a salesperson from Air Van (they have offices in Aus) and ask what you could do about it. Four tickets might allow for some sort of group discount. Its worth a try.

Jen

Adelaide
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9. Re: Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

Nothing doing, I'm afraid - we only just got back from Vietnam 6 weeks ago!

2 O/S trips within 3 months would severely overdraft the holiday budget cache, unfortunately.

With Virgin Blue offering direct flights from Adelaide to Nadi, Fiji is definitely the cheaper option now. However we went to Fiji last year with the kids, and whilst we had a ball, we are looking for something Pacific, yet a little more untouched this time.

We were planning for around August - September, so I won't give up. It may be that an alternative presents itself between now & then. (Or we just do lots of extra overtime!)

Brisbane, Australia
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10. Re: Air Vanuatu cancels BNE/SON direct flights.

Yes I've seen some of those fiji deals...pretty special.

If you are looking for "untouched" why not just head to outer areas on Efate? There are some pristine locations well outside of Vila. Undine Bay and the islands just offshore would give that sense of isolation you seem to be after.

One that might interest you is Kakula Island.

It is a resort that has grown from a lost investment project. I found this article in the Australian. theaustralian.com.au/news/fantasy-island/sto…

Another gorgeous pristine spot is Tamanu on the Beach. While they don't really cater for children, you will find the manager Geraldine, to be very proactive and she may well be able to sort something out for you. Send her an email and see.

While Paradise Cove is not far from Vila as the crow flies, it is certainly quite isolated by road and they do cater for children. They also have a lovely snorkelling area just out front.

If you were to rent one of the overwater bungalows at Le Meridien you would enjoy a sense of isolation as they are on a little island separate from the main resort and they look down the lagoon itself.

Another thought is Eratap. It is quite remote and very popular. Their prices might not fit with your budget but a saving of 1000 on airfares may offset that a bit.

These are just a few ideas.

Happy travels,

Jen