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VIRGIN AUSTRALIA: Now flying to Port Vila, Vanuatu

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA: Now flying to Port Vila, Vanuatu

Vanuatu and Port Vila were recently devastated by twin cyclones Kevin and Judy in the same week, is the newest international short-haul destination to be added to Virgin Australia’s schedule.

Virgin used to fly to Vanuatu, but suspended the route due to the pandemic and the airline going into administration three years ago, and haunting all international flying.

The roughly three hour route out of Brisbane to Port Villa, the capital of Vanuatu, will operate (up to) five times a week in peak periods, but only three times a week off-peak (Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

  • VA53 leaves Brisbane at 10:40 am, arriving at Port Villa at 2:20 pm (2 hours 40 minutes)
  • VA56 leaves Port Villa at 3:10 pm, arriving at Brisbane at 5:20 pm (3 hours 10 minutes)
Eretap Beach Resort, Vanuatu back on Christmas Day 2012 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

On Sale

There are on-sale fares in Economy Lite, which is cabin luggage only, for AU$459 return at the moment. More usually, expect to pay closer to AU$825 for a Economy Choice fare that includes checked-in luggage. If you’re in business, then you can expect to pay AU$1,700 return on your flights in a Boeing 737-800, the aircraft Virgin Australia uses through out its domestic and short-haul international routes.

Flights started yesterday – so there might still be some sale fares available. Lets face it you only need to pack thongs, a sarong, sunhat, underwear, sunscreen and mosquito repelant. Although a friend of mine did stock up on snacks, knowing that the islands are only just recovering from the two cyclones.

From other states

Although if you are travelling from anywhere but Brisbane, a connection will be involved, Virgin has some pretty tempting economy offers from most capital cities on particular sale dates:

Economy Class flights to Port Vila 

FromToFare typeDatesPrice
Brisbane (BNE)Port Vila (VLI)Return-Economy22/05/2023 – 29/05/2023From AUD $600*
Sydney (SYD)Port Vila (VLI)Return-Economy26/04/2023 – 30/04/2023From AUD $704*
Melbourne (MEL)Port Vila (VLI)Return-Economy22/04/2023 – 30/04/2023From AUD $706*
Adelaide (ADL)Port Vila (VLI)Return-Economy10/05/2023 – 19/05/2023From AUD $745*
Canberra (CBR)Port Vila (VLI)Return-Economy05/04/2023 – 19/04/2023From AUD $983*
*Fares displayed have been collected within the last 48hrs and may no longer be available at time of booking. Additional fees and charges for optional products and services may apply. [Virgin Australia]

2PAXfly Takeout

It’s good to see Virgin Australia upping its short-haul international game. With the addition of Vanuatu, VA now flies to Bali (Indonesia), Queenstown New Zealand), Nadi (Fiji), Port Vila (Vanuatu) and Apia (Samoa). It also has plans to recommence flights to, Tokyo (Haneda) in June 2023.

I’m hoping to add some of these destinations to my plans for the second half on 2024 and see what flying short haul internationally with Virgin will be like compared to domestic flying.

I haven’t been to Vanuatu since Christmas 2012, but it is a wonderful destination at any time. As one of the poorest and most disaster-prone island nations in the pacific, it more than deserves our interest and our support through tourism.

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