The Air Taxi History

Maule YJ-NZ20 being driven to the Waitara River by truck


Air Taxi Vanuatu is part of the Pacific Air Services Group, comprising of the charter operation of Air Taxi, its maintenance facility, Airworx Engineering, the South Pacific Air Ambulance Service and the group’s leasing arm, Air Leasing Pacific Ltd. It has its beginnings in 2004, when two pilots, Wayne Allport and Simon Turner, decided to start their own seaplane airline. They purchased and then flew a Maule seaplane from the Waitara River, near New Plymouth, New Zealand and ferried it 1,300 naut1cal miles to Port Vila in Vanuatu.

The Company, then known as Vanuatu Seaplanes, flew scenic fights and volcano tours from the beach at Iririki Island, in Port Vila Harbour, for several years.

Operating from the beach at Iririki Island

In late 2009, the company sold the seaplane business and purchased a five passenger seat, wheeled, Cessna 206 and started running volcano tours to Tanna in earnest.

To be able to cope with increased demand, Air Taxi Vanuatu purchased another aircraft in December 2010, this time a six/seven passenger seat Cessna 207. Thereafter, the business expanded and now, in addition to the Cessnas, operates a number of twin engine, Britton Norman Islander aircraft, as well as an air ambulance, capable of medical evacuations to Australia and New Zealand.

As of April, 2016, the group own and operate 7 aircraft on charter, air tours, medevac, scenic flights, aerial survey, photography and sky diving around the islands of Vanuatu and beyond, in the South Pacific.

Scenic flight around Mt Yasur, the world’s most accessible volcano.

Cessna 207 and Cessna 206 at Port Vila Airport

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