Solomon Airlines Pays Air Nauru around SBD 4.5m for Chartered Flights
Solomon Airlines spent a downtime payment of around SBD 4.5 million to Air Nauru for its chartered flights when the Airbus A320 is not in operation.
Solomon Airlines Chief Executive Officer Gus Kraus told the local media that the airline’s maintenance and regular checkups is a costly exercise for the State Owned Enterprise.
“The payment to Air Nauru is for the charter flights during our plane’s downtime, in January, we were down for about 10 days, in March we were down for 3 days and for this month were down for 14 days. This means all revenues made from selling tickets, we don’t keep because we must pay it out for the chartered flights, this affects us in two ways, us paying another operator to provide our services and paying the airbus lease payment,” Mr. Kraus said.
The national carrier’s biggest airplane only resumed normal operations on Monday this week after it was grounded due to fuel contamination.
“In January the plane’s fuel tanks were checked for contamination, there’s a left wing, right wing and center fuel tank in the aircraft, the recent contamination was found in the wing tanks this saw our maintenance controller in Brisbane making the decision for us to ground the plane, the fuel tanks are checked every time the plane lands,” Mr Kraus said.
It took the airline two weeks to address the issue of fuel contamination because it requires personnel to enter the wings and identify its causes.
Mr. Kraus said the AIRBUS A320 will not be in operation later this month as it will undergo regular checkups in Melbourne, Australia.
“The planned maintenance checkup of the airbus will be for two weeks starting from the 22nd. Air Nauru will again be charted to pick up work for us, however, we are looking into having another airline to help as Air Nauru cannot do all our work,” he said.
By Sharon Nanau