FIJI’S CIVIL AVIATION MINISTER EXPLAINED AIRLINES SAGA

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo credit: Fijilive.com

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo credit: Fijilive.com

Fiji Civil Aviation Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum explains the events leading to the suspension of direct flights from Nadi to Honiara.

Opposition MP Semesa Karavaki questioned in Parliament why the services remained suspended because it was proving costly to travel to Honiara on an alternate route.

In his reply, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there was a breach of the Air Services Agreement by the Solomon Government that led to the suspension of the air services.

He says, prior to the suspension, Fiji had the right to have three flights a week to Honiara.

Mr. Khaiyum adds, in 2010, there was a memorandum of understanding signed between the Fiji Government and the Solomon Government. With this, Fiji Airways could fly Nadi, Port Vila, Honiara and then backtrack that way.

In June 2014, the Solomon Islands Government agreed to review the agreement. It was during the process of the review what Solomon Islands Government did when Fiji Airways had the right to have a direct flight to Honiara refused, on two occasions, a plane full of people and cargo to fly from Nadi to Honiara despite Fiji’s legal right to do so.

Mr Khaiyum says, last month, the two governments were going to sign an agreement when the Solomon’s officials backed out saying they had been advised not to enter into the agreement.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Solomon Government breached the MOU.

SIBC is in the process of giving the Solomon Islands Civil Aviation the right to reply to this story.

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