Home Local News INDEFINITE CANCELLATION OF AIR SERVICES TO MANAOBA DUE TO DISPUTE

INDEFINITE CANCELLATION OF AIR SERVICES TO MANAOBA DUE TO DISPUTE

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Passengers at Manaoba airport. Photo: Capt Alex Takola.
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Solomon Airlines regrets to advise that due to risk associated with interrupted services caused by the local landowners dispute, the airline has suspended all flights to and from Manaoba indefinitely.

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The suspension is effective immediately including cancellation of today’s service.

The airline is endeavouring to contact all affected passengers.

“While we sincerely regret the inconvenience to our passengers, the matter is simple. Landowners have advised us to suspend services until an ongoing local landowners disagreement can be settled,” said CEO of Solomon Airlines Mr Brett Gebers.

“We are therefore cancelling all services to Manaoba indefinitely as the constant disruption to our schedule cannot be tolerated. “While we appreciate that there may be local issues yet to be resolved and which are outside of our control, we have an obligation to all who rely upon our scheduled flights across the Solomon Islands,” Mr Gebers said.

“Airlines cannot easily start and restart flights and airstrip operations on a whim. Behind the scenes, managing flight operations to regional areas is a significant activity which requires scheduling aircraft and equipment, fuel supplies, rostering of crew, management of passenger and cargo booking processes,” he said.

“At a time when we are seeking to recover and rebuild Solomon Airlines, we have no choice but to make a sensible decision to suspend flying to airports where our services are not required. “Currently services to Marau are also suspended for the same reason, to the major detriment of our local community and future tourism prospects.

“As an airline, we have an obligation to maintain our published schedule for all that rely upon our planned flights throughout the Solomon Islands to the many communities we serve. Ongoing interruptions disrupt us all and these disputes do not serve anyone, not us, not the communities, and certainly not the landowners whose land is no longer being used for aircraft takeoffs and landings,” he said.

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