Solomon Airlines will recommence flights to Santa Cruz Airport, Lata from 1 December, following runway restoration undertaken by the Solomon Islands Government.
The updated schedule coincides with the arrival of the Dash-8 back into Honiara, following the undertaking of it’s periodical heavy maintenance ‘C-check’ to restore it to prime operating condition.
The airline had suspended flights to Lata from 23 August, until the Santa Cruz runway could be restored to a safe condition. Since then, temporary services were operated from Honiara via Kirakira to Lomlom.
Effective from 1 December, flights to Lata will be reinstated to operate three times weekly, replacing the temporary services. Tuesday and Saturday flights will operate non-stop between Honiara and Santa Cruz Airport using the recently returned Dash-8 aircraft. Thursday flights will operate via Lomlom using Solomon Airlines Twin Otter aircraft.
“We are extremely pleased to return services to Lata for the people of Temotu Province, and just in time for the Christmas holidays, ” said Gus Kraus, CEO of Solomon Airlines.
“Lata has always been a key air route for Solomon Airlines and the restoration of the Santa Cruz runway is pivotal to our operations.
“We will be able to land the larger Dash 8 aircraft at Santa Cruz, which will allow us to upgrade our services further, improving comfort, seat capacity and flying time for our passengers,” he said.
Solomon Airlines confirmed that effective from 3 December, additional Dash-8 flights will operate on Saturday and Sunday between Honiara, Munda and Gizo until 29 January 2023.
“With the Dash-8 aircraft returning to service, we will have sufficient seats for the Christmas and New Year peak demand period.
“As we head into the peak Christmas and New Year season, regular flights to all of our leisure destinations of Munda, Gizo, Seghe and Suavanao, will be vital to tourism recovery.
“We are anticipating greater family travel between the Provinces and more international visitors, following the easing of the international border entry requirements.
“ We do advise that people intending to travel over the festive season, should book early to secure their preferred flights.
“We will also monitor demand, and if we see a requirement for additional flights, we will look at adding those services,” he said.