Solomon Airlines resumes Fiji flights

Solomon Islands is still unhappy about its share of the Fiji route
Solomon Islands is still unhappy about its share of the Fiji route

Solomon Airlines, the national carrier of the Solomon Islands, will resume flights to Fiji on 24 January 2015.

The flights had been dropped due to a dispute between the Solomon and Fijian governments, which had been in a state of impasse since July 2014. But this has now been resolved, enabling Solomon Airlines to resume its approved weekly flight from Honiara to Nadi, via Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. Flights will depart Honiara every Saturday, returning from Nadi on Sunday.

But a spokesperson for Solomon Airlines said the carrier is still unhappy about the share of services it is being allocated, compared with Fiji Airways.

“While Solomon Airlines has been allowed to resume flights into Fiji as of 24 January, the reality is that all we are doing is continuing to operate without fifth or sixth freedom rights on a Honiara-Port Vila-Nadi basis with the issue being rights between Port Vila and Nadi,” the spokesperson said.

“Fiji Airways on the other hand is being allowed to operate with full fifth and sixth freedom rights. Fiji Airways enjoys the right to operate into Honiara via Port Vila, embarking and disembarking passengers on the whole route while we do not have rights from Port Vila-Nadi and vice versa.”

And the fact that Fiji Airways has been awarded rights to fly on same days as Solomon Airlines is creating a situation of over-capacity on weekends, and under-capacity on the remaining days of the week, according to Solomon Airlines

“We are obviously not happy with this result as it stands but have agreed to honour the joint governments’ agreement and we are hoping that further discussions in late January/early February will prevail and our sentiments will be heard,” he concluded.

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