Vanuatu daily news digest | 20 December 2014

Daily Post tells us today that Air Vanuatu will be selling off its Y-12 fleet next year. With the second ATR in place and the existing plan to upgrade remaining outer island airfields, and with improvements to the regional networking with Fiji Airways, CEO Joseph Laloyer and Air Van are looking forward to a very busy year 2015. Air Vanuatu will also be developing the engineering department with assistance from Fiji Airways.

Th Independent reports New Zealand assistance to Vanuatu’s international airports at Vila and Santo: VHF radio equipment and other hardware to maintain scanning machines. High Commissioner Roberts said the donations are part of an ongoing process to raise standards at the airports.

Meantime, however, Christmas schedules have been thrown into total chaos for Nouméa flights, all the Tontouta and Magenta tower staff being on strike affecting Air Vanuatu and Air Calin flights along with those of all other carriers. There is a demand for increased recruitment at the control towers. The position cannot be immediately resolved with the recent resignation of the government, and it will not be until 31 December that the country will have a new government elected. The strike continues until 24 December, Radio Vanuatu News reports.

Daily Post reports an Israeli accused in a drugs matter, and for theft and soliciting unlawful assembly, is accusing another Santo-based foreigner, Ronan Harvey (previously arrested and released on drugs charges) of illegal activities. It was Harvey who caught an intruder – who allegedly tried to kill him – on his closed circuit TV. Eilon Mass, presently accusing Harvey, was formerly in Harvey’s employment.