Air Vanuatu’s YJ-AV12 twin-otter has been redelivered to Hevilift, a Papua New Guinea based Aviation Service Business which owns the aircraft, last week.
A reliable source confirmed the aircraft was repossessed following outstanding debt owed by the Vanuatu government.
Hevilift is one of the several companies that leases their aircrafts to Air Vanuatu.
In May this year, the owner pressured the government to sort out their overdue payment or else the company would repossess the aircraft.
The government then agreed to commit to repaying the VT41 million (US$346,000) outstanding.
According to information conveyed to Daily Post, the government paid the lessor VT37 million (US$312,000), but a remaining VT4 million(US$33,000) is still to be paid.
When Daily Post enquired with the Chief Executive Officer of Air Vanuatu about this, he said the aircraft was not repossessed, but returned because the lease ended in September last year.
With the YJ-AV12 aircraft gone, Air Vanuatu now has two twin otters servicing the routes.
Earlier this week, passengers experienced flight disruptions. A source informed Daily Post that one twin-otter underwent maintenance work but is expected to be flying by now.
The Daily Post was also informed that Air Vanuatu’s only ATR is expected to undergo a major check overseas soon for a month, which means that the airline has to lease another aircraft to maintain service continuity.
Meanwhile, the owner of the Twin Otter AV-11, John Buchan, has filed a case in court claiming for outstanding payments and if he takes back his aircraft, Air Vanuatu will struggle serving the whole of the country.
Air Vanuatu owns only two aircrafts which are Islander YJ-O08 and Twin Otter YJ-RV10, other aircrafts are leased.