The Vanuatu and Nauru governments signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this week that will see Nauru Airlines (Nauru) apply for a foreign air operator's certificate to allow the carrier to begin operating on Vanuatu domestic sectors, in particular Port Vila-Espiritu Santo. This follows the state-owned carrier Air Vanuatu (NF, Port Vila) going into liquidation in May and suspending flights.

ch-aviation is also aware that Nauru Airlines is interested in acquiring some of Air Vanuatu's assets, with the CEO visiting Port Vila for talks shortly after Air Vanuatu's collapse. Nauru Airlines is a significant Air Vanuatu creditor, having operated wet-leased services on Air Vanuatu's behalf in the lead up to the collapse. It is likely to start flying between Port Vila and Brisbane on a regular basis too, as a result of the MOU. ch-aviation has contacted Nauru Airlines for comment.

"As of today [June 4], we have not received any serious partners yet to join the Vanuatu government to consider the future of our airline, except for the Nauru government and Nauru Airlines," Deputy Prime Minister Matai Seremaiah told Port Vila's Daily Post newspaper. "So the government signed an MOU today to start our journey to the future."

The deadline to submit expressions of interest to acquire Air Vanuatu's assets was June 7, 2024.