Several parties have expressed interest in taking over grounded Air Vanuatu, according to accountancy firm EY, the liquidator responsible for the insolvent South Pacific carrier.

“We have received interest from a range of parties seeking to resume Air Vanuatu’s operations,” says Morgan Kelly, Partner in Strategy & Transactions at EY.

Air Vanuatu 737-800-c-Windmemories Creative Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It is unclear when Air Vanuatu will return to the skies

“We’re reviewing these offers and will be working toward a resolution as soon as possible.”

EY was not able to disclose the “number and nature of non-binding offers,” but notes that the carrier’s assets include airport slots in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, New Caledonia, and Fiji. In addition, the airline owns aircraft and other assets.

The liquidator, which is evaluating the offers, adds that a date of resumption for Air Vanuatu’s services has yet to be determined. The offers will be assessed as “part of a structured sale or recapitalisation process to ensure the best outcome for creditors.”

EY’s remarks about potential suitors follow its statement on 31 May in which it said the airline’s operations would be restructured to reduced costs, and that this was likely to impact 170 roles at the carrier.

“The restructuring at Air Vanuatu today is an unfortunate but necessary step to give the business the opportunity to bring on board new investors and capitalise on strong domestic and international demand for travel,” said Morgan Kelly, Partner in Strategy & Transactions at EY.

“This restructuring attempts to position Air Vanuatu for growth into the future.”

On 9 May the carrier grounded flights and appointed EY as its liquidator.