PRC charter set for August 29 to China and return
The planned direct flight to China and return to Honiara is scheduled for 29 August— and is a private charter by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), confirms Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele tonight in Parliament.
National carrier Solomon Airlines will undertake the flight.
The direct flight has been condemned by the Transparency Solomon Islands, which in a statement last night said it was very much concerned about this planned flight since the decision by the government seems not to prioritize the security, and health of Solomon Islanders, at a time when the pandemic kills millions of people across the globe, despite their state of the art health and medical facilities like USA.
But speaking in Parliament on the motion to extend the State of Public Emergency for another four months, Manele said the PRC government is chartering on 29 August to bring in their diplomats and contractors to begin work on some of “our national projects” including the 2023 Pacific Games.
SBMOnline was told tonight that the new PRC Ambassador to Solomon Islands will also be on the flight.
SBMOnline was further informed that more details of the flight would be released this week.
Manele in acknowledging the concerns raised by the MP for East Are’are, Peter Kenilorea regarding the flight, said it is not an easy balance in trying to balance the priority to “protecting our people – but at the same time the government is exploring ways and means to help the economy as well. So that some of these big projects can start to create employment for our people.”
Manele said those arriving on the flight will have to provide medical clearance of where they come from— and when they arrive “on our shores they will go through mandatory quarantine”. He adds the government would also continue to monitor their developments in terms of COVID-19 on a daily basis.