Solomon Airlines will close its Rennell service at the end of this week.
Solomon Airlines’ General Manager Operations and Commercial, Gus Kraus says the airline is shutting down its Rennell operations until a new agent can be identified and appointed.
The Board of Solomon Airlines has instructed the airline management to close down its service to Rennell because of outstanding arrears due to the airline by the agent.
Mr Kraus explains, there has been a lot of empty promises by the agent to recover the arrears over the past 6 months with no conclusive outcome therefore Solomon Airline has referred the matter legally and take this action in the immediate term.
Solomon Airlines provide 3 flights a week to Rennell.
He adds, Solomon Airlines is reviewing all of its other port agency agreements across Solomon Islands and the Airline Board has given a clear mandate to ensure the future viability of the airline that other operators in a similar situation are likely to receive the same fate.
Meanwhile, an unhappy Rennell Islander says, cancellation of all Rennell flights will severely affect his people’s movement into and out of Rennell.
Mr Dicter Maitaki said Solomon Airlines announcement saddens him.
Maitaki said the people of Rennell have always relied on the efficient and regular services provided by Solomon Airlines.
“We have no vessels to serve us and once the flights are closed then its impacts on our people will be huge. So it is a concern for us all because that’s the only link we have with Honiara, and if the airlines think this is the only option left for them, then it will be a sad story for us.”
Maitaki explained, the reason for the closure is a matter between Solomon Airlines and the agent and should not affect the travelling public.
He calls on responsible authorities and the Renbell provincial government to quickly settle the matter and avoid the closure.