Home News Solair Chair briefs PM Sogavare on airline industry

Solair Chair briefs PM Sogavare on airline industry

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PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare today has received a courtesy visit from the Chairman of the Solomon Airlines Board Mr Frank Wickham.
The meeting was an opportunity for the Prime Minister to listen and share with the Solomon Airlines Chairman on the challenges, successes and future of Solomon Airlines.
Mr Wickham thanked the Prime Minister and the National Government for their support through the Economic Stimulus Package which has greatly assisted in keeping the industry afloat during these challenging times.
He also particularly acknowledged the aviation ministry for writing-off their taxes from the previous years which also made a positive outlook on its balance sheets.
“The Government charters and other non-government chartered flights have also helped with the airline’s revenue source during these turbulent times,” he said.
However, Mr Wickham told the Prime Minister that cash flow still remains a problem.
He said domestic routes are also unprofitable and has cost implications for airplanes because of the need to upgrade airfields around the country.
“Only three domestic routes are profitable and they are Auki, Munda and Renbel,” he said.
Mr Wickham said the airline is currently developing a mid to long term strategic plan to address the challenges as a way forward.
The Prime Minister in response said a comprehensive framework to review the airline industry must be undertaken that needs to encapsulate the challenges in both the domestic and international routes.
“We can produce a viable airline if we get the models right,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
The Prime Minister said with the upgrading of domestic airfields and the upgrading of the Honiara International Airport, the airline industry has an exciting future ahead.
Prime Minister Sogavare also assured the Chairman of the Government’s ongoing support to Solomon Airlines.
ENDS..

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