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Author: Vila Times Editor

Cook Islands airspace earns more than $300,000 a year

Cook Islands earn over $300,000 per annum from airlines using the country’s airspace, Prime Minister Henry Puna has confirmed. Puna, who is also the minister responsible for transport, said the initiative was promoted by the Cook Islands back in 1997 when the country hosted the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga, Cook Islands News reports. “I was secretary of transport at that time and I inadvertently became aware of the fact that other authorities were charging flights that were transiting through our airspace,” Puna told Parliament earlier this week. “We raised the matter at the forum and our regional partners...

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Vanuatu seeks help from PNG and Fiji to get into China’s tourism market

Vanuatu tourism officials want a joint approach with Papua New Guinea and Fiji to develop the inbound Chinese tourism market. “We are looking at the China market, like everyone else. We’re hoping to get flights directly from mainland China, either Southern China or Shanghai,” George Iapson, a member of the VIPA Board of Directors, told Business Advantage PNG. “We need to piggyback on the Air Niugini move into the Chinese route development [PNG’s national airline is scheduled to start flying to Shanghai later this year] and there’s a real possibility we can move into the Asia market through PNG....

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Vanuatu promoted at Meet the Pacific roadshow in Europe and Asia

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is currently participating in the 4th ‘Meet the Pacific’ roadshow held across Europe, UK and will continue on to the Asia region. The roadshow is held prior to the 2018 ITB Berlin tradeshow, the largest travel trade show in Europe. ‘Meet the Pacific’ is a one-day business-to-business meeting through pre-scheduled appointments in six European and two Asian countries bringing together resort partners, tourism board and airline partners (sellers) from the South Pacific to meet key European, UK and Asian tour operators (buyers) who are committed to promoting and selling the South Pacific destinations....

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Aon Vanuatu changed its name to Vanuatu Insurance Brokers Ltd

Aon Corporation, the provider of risk management and insurance services and Vanuatu’s principal insurance service since 2000, has announced it is now independently owned and trading as Vanuatu Insurance Brokers Ltd. The transition has taken nine months to achieve after Aon (New Zealand) approached its Vanuatu based General Manager Mr. Bob Sanders to purchase the brokerage and transform it to a Vanuatu company. “Forming Vanuatu Insurance Brokers Ltd is important for Vanuatu. We wanted to ensure that Vanuatu continues to be backed by the international power of Aon going forward as Vanuatu develops and grows,” said Mr. Sanders. “Vanuatu...

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Australia’s TC Pam aid to Vanuatu has not met expectations: report

Australia’s aid response to the most powerful cyclone recorded in the South Pacific — Vanuatu’s Cyclone Pam in 2015 — has been beset by problems, is well behind schedule and, according to the government’s own summation, requires ‘restorative action’. The nation’s aid response to Cyclone Pam was delivered at a standard ‘somewhat less than expected’, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ own report into Vanuatu aid for the 2017 financial year, The Australian reports. Australia contributed $10 million to fund immediate support in the wake of Cyclone Pam, including to provide food and short-term shelter, and a further...

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Air Vanuatu founder goes to Tahiti court over new airline license

A new airline planning to fly in French Polynesia will go to court in its efforts to get an operating license. Four months ago, a New Caledonia-based businessman Bill Ravel lodged an application to set up a new airline, called Islands, to compete against Air Tahiti, RNZI reports. The new company has told Tahiti-infos that it has received no official reply and now wants the court to formalise the apparent rejection. It also said as far as it is concerned, there was no legal obstacle to be issued a license. Mr Ravel, who founded Air Calin and Air Vanuatu,...

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Russian delegation visited Vanuatu and other Pacific countries in World Expo 2025 bid support

A Russian delegation has visited Vanuatu to rally support for the bid by city of Ekaterinburg to host the World Expo in 2025. The team, which is led by its Bid Committee head Svetlana Sagaydak, has also visited Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Nauru, RNZI reports. The Russian bid is under the theme ‘Changing the World: Innovations and Better Life for Future Generations’. Other candidates are Osaka and Baku. The host for Expo 2025 will be decided in Paris in...

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Tonga received a record US$3.5 million insurance payout after Cyclone Gita

In the wake of Cyclone Gita, the government of Tonga received a US$3.5 million payout from the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company (PCRIC) based on its insurance cover against tropical cyclones. Funds were transferred after seven days of the cyclone event, providing the government with rapid-response financing to support disaster-relief efforts and effective service delivery to the affected areas. Tonga is one of five Pacific Island countries that purchased catastrophe risk insurance from PCRIC – a regional catastrophe insurance platform that offers governments insurance cover against climate and seismic hazards, currently tropical cyclones and earthquake/tsunamis. PCRIC policies are designed...

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In Vanuatu one in every 85 newborn babies does not survive: UNICEF

Global deaths of newborn babies remain alarmingly high, particularly among the world’s poorest countries, UNICEF said in a new report on newborn mortality. Babies born in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore have a high chance at survival, while newborn deaths in Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Federated States of Micronesia remain alarmingly high. In Kiribati, one in every 44 babies born does not survive; in the Federated States of Micronesia one in 58 and in Vanuatu one in 85 babies do not survive. “Throughout the Pacific the newborn mortality rates remain a serious concern,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Pacific...

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ANZ partners with Live-and-Learn NGO to promote savings culture in Vanuatu and rest of the Pacific

ANZ announced a partnership with Live & Learn non-government organisation to deliver ANZ’s financial literacy program, MoneyMinded, to drive a savings culture in communities in Vanuatu and rest of the Pacific. The partnership involves the accreditation of Live & Learn trainers to deliver MoneyMinded to their staff and community members in partnership with ANZ’s MoneyMinded facilitators where both Live & Learn and ANZ have a presence in the Pacific. These countries are Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati and Fiji. MoneyMinded is a suite of financial education resources designed by ANZ to assist adults in building their...

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