Solomon Airlines today announced two key events – its 60th Anniversary and the Solomon Airlines Peace Marathon set for 29th of this month.
At a media conference CEO of Solomon Airlines Gus Kraus and his partner the Visitors Bureau announced the key events.
Marking both Solomon Airlines’60th anniversary and officially commencing the countdown to the Solomon Islands hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games, the 2022 ‘Solomons Airlines Peace Marathon’ will take place in Honiara on 29 October, a statement issued to the press read.
As in previous years, the event will comprise a 2K, 5K, 10K and a 21.1K half marathon with a host of sponsor- donated prizes to be awarded across a variety of categories.
With Solomon Airlines in place as the main sponsor for the event, other sponsors this year include Tourism Solomons, Solomon Ports, Solomon Telekom, Solomon Power, South Pacific Oil, Solomon Islands National University (SINU), The Heritage Park Hotel, Solomon Islands Breweries and Soltuna with other corporate sponsors expected to confirm their participation in coming days.
The ‘Solomon Airlines Peace Marathon’ is seen as an ideal opportunity for local athletes looking to build their conditioning and preparation for the Pacific Games which starts on 19 November 2023.
The event has in previous years attracted some of the Solomon Islands athletes- Chris Votu, Rosifelo Siosi, Sharon Firisua, Diana Matakali, and Martin Faeni among them- and it is hoped, this year’s event will attract similar profile runners.
Plans are already underway for 2023 Solomon Airlines Peace Marathon with organizers hopeful the 2023 event will also attract international competition as it did for four years after its inception in 2009.
Solomon Airlines will celebrate the airline’s 60th year next month with a programme of festivities and celebrations and the introduction of the 60th Anniversary logo. It will happen later this month.
Kraus said the milestone year was especially significant after the most difficult period in the airline’s history.
“Solomon Islands has survived many challenges in the past, but none so difficult as the past two years and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“As we celebrate 60 years of resilience, we also turn a page.
“Solomon Airlines will stay true to our mission—providing safe and reliable air services connecting our provinces, and focusing on the strategic role of the national carrier in the economic development of our country,” he said.
History of Solomon Airlines
In 1962, Mr Crowley operated a charter service in Papua New Guinea using a single Piper Apache aircraft. On 12th November that year, he founded Solomon Islands’ first airline, which he developed into a popular service flying between Solomon Islands and PNG.
In 1968, Macair of PNG acquired the company, and its name was changed to Solomon Islands Airways (which many called SOLAIR), SOLAIR became the smallest international airline in the world.
In 1975, both Macair and Solomon Airways were take over by Talair of PNG.
The following year in 1976, the Solomon Islands Government acquired 49% of Solomon Islands Airways shares and the right to buy remaining 51 percent after five years.
In 1984, the government of Solomon Islands decided to acquire all remaining shares to achieve 100% ownership of the airline.
The ownership transaction was completed in 1987 and in 1988 the airline’s name was changed to Solomon Airlines Ltd as it is known today.