It’s costing Solomon Airlines more than $18m to repair its only dash 8 aircraft currently undergoing maintenance in Australia.
The national carrier’s management today revealed the amount as the aircraft is ready to fly home next month to serve the domestic routes with Christmas only months away.
Finance Manager Peter Soqoilo said the maintenance of the aircrafts is one of the biggest expenses for the airline.
He cited current repair works to the airline’s only dash-8 in Australia as an example.
“I will give you a rough estimate on how the Dash 8 is costing us. Preliminary figure is $18m. This is not final. We have yet to get final costs of the repair. These include the two legs (landing) we have to replace both legs,” said Soqoilo.
He explained that the big cost in the first seven months is associated with sea checks.
Soqoilo said the fact that the “our airports are on sea-sides; corrosion is one big issue. The surface of the airstrips also contributes towards the wear and tear of the aircraft.”
On the financial aspect of the airline, Soqoilo said the “we came through a very challenging environment.”
In that regard, he commended the government for financially support the airline. This year they have given the airline $16m, $5m in March and $10m in July.
Soqoilo said the financial support has really supported the airline to carry on with its business.
“Whatever the government gives us flows out from the repair costs. We have to tighten up our costs and control as well—
both overhead and and fix costs,” he said.