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Media Release 25 February 2021: AVL welcomes the Tamtam Travel Bubble announcement

Airports Vanuatu Ltd (AVL) wishes to congratulate the Government of Vanuatu on the announcement of the Tamtam Travel Bubble with New Caledonia.

Tamtam Travel Bubble with New Caledonia announced by Hon. Bob Weibur Loughman, Prime Minister Our Prime Minister, Hon. Bob Weibur Loughman, has announced the first steps in the Tamtam Travel Bubble, with a pilot programme announced between Vanuatu and New Caledonia, initially enabling travel for four priority groups of travellers.

AVL welcomes this announcement and commits to working tirelessly to support the planning and preparation for the trial and to enabling international air passenger movements alongside our aviation and border force partners.


Credits: Paul Pio

Jason Rakau, CEO of AVL commented, “I am delighted to see this cautious and eminently sensible approach adopted by our Government, in opening travel with New Caledonia for those who wish to travel for medical or educational purposes, and to welcome technical experts and visitors. AVL has been advocating for safe measures to enable critical air access to open up, to enable our global connectivity This pilot programme represents a solid first step for us all to open up to New Caledonia, our nearest neighbour. Our two nations have shared a strong relationship over the years, with flights linking us six or seven times a week. Vanuatu residents mainly travel for business, medical and educational reasons. Residents of New Caledonia visit our shores for leisure and business. We look forward to the planned recommencement of flights in the coming weeks and commit to working closely with all partners in facilitating the planning to make it happen”.


AVL at the forefront of planning AVL, through our leadership of the Access Transportation and Tourism Taskforce (AT3), has been at the forefront of planning for the Tamtam Travel Bubble and has been working closely with the Tamtam Travel Bubble Taskforce, the Government’s designated body tasked with developing and implementing the Bubble across all agencies. Alongside our colleagues from Health and the Government, we have worked tirelessly for months to develop the plans and protocols for the Tamtam Bubble.


Kevin Abel, General Manager Operations commented, “It is now nearly a year since the borders closed. This time has been difficult for everyone, and the aviation community more than most. AVL welcomes this announcement and commits to continuing our dedicated work behind the scenes to prepare for and facilitate these first flights. We look forward to the day in the coming weeks when we are able to farewell our friends flying out to New Caledonia and welcome our first flight of visitors back to Vanuatu”.


Ends

About Airports Vanuatu Ltd AVL is the proud owner and operator of three airports, in Port Vila, and on the islands of Santo and Tanna. AVL’s airports and our airline partners work together to facilitate safe, secure and reliable air access for international visitors to travel to and from our island paradise and for ni-Vanuatu to work and play, flying domestically and to the rest of the world.


Media contact For further information, please contact Jason Rakau, Chief Executive Officer of AVL. Tel: 25111 or International Direct Dial +678 25111 Email: jrakau@airports.vu Web: www.airports.vu Address: PO Box 131, Port Vila, Vanuatu, SW Pacific

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