Solomon Islands is suspending Fiji Airways flights to and from Honiara starting on Tuesday 15 July, 2014, following the denial of entry of Solomon Airlines flights to Nadi over the weekend by Fijian authorities.
Solomon Islands authorities have expressed deep sadness at the stand-off and today decided to suspend Fiji Airways from flying into Honiara on 15 July, 2014.
Director of Civil Aviation George Satu said he was shocked to be advised that Solomon Airlines was denied entry to operate its scheduled and approved flights each Saturday to Fiji, returning Sundays.
In a statement today Mr Satu said this is fundamentally flawed.
He said the fact that the Fiji authorities have denied entry into Fiji of what has been an approved scheduled operation by Solomon Airlines has regrettably left the Civil Aviation Authorities of Solomon Islands with no option but to deny Fiji Airways its rights for their scheduled services into Solomon Islands this Tuesday.
He said Civil Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands, CAASI, is aware that Fiji Airways has applied to operate a second service to Solomon Islands on Saturdays beginning this month.
Mr Satu adds, CAASI, being the regulator in Solomon Islands had duly notified Fiji some months back that this particular service was NOT APPROVED based on slots and some common understanding that two jet services on a Saturday to and from Nadi to Honiara was expressly overcapacity on that day.
In addition, he said there have been long pending issues of ‘Rights’ that needed to be addressed prior to approving Fiji Airway’s request.
The Civil Aviation Director said he is further advised that there have been some outstanding issues between the two national carriers that needed redress and these have been ongoing for quite some time without any resolution.
He said Solomon Islands is a sovereign country and is ready to discuss aviation rights on the Fiji Government’s requests.
Meanwhile, Fiji Airways has apologised to its customers affected by the disruption to and from its Honiara Solomon Islands services, after its services to Honiara were suspended by the Solomon Islands Government.
The Airline was informed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands that it would not be allowed a landing permit less than 24 hours before the start of its scheduled Nadi-Honiara direct flights on 5th July.
The airline is working hard to re-route customers booked on Nadi-Honiara and Honiara-Nadi services on alternative routes.
Fiji Airways is hopeful that the Governments of Solomon Islands and Fiji are able to reach a speedy resolution on this issue, for the benefit of air travellers between the two countries.