Solomon Airlines to Get Second Aircraft, Ex-Jetstar
Solomon Airlines is looking to secure a second aircraft.
Solomon Airlines Chief Executive Officer Gus Kraus told the local media they are currently awaiting the government’s approval to get the second aircraft.
Mr Kraus said they are talking with the government and from their meetings so far, the government has assured of its support.
“Government is currently reviewing some of the data we’ve supplied and basically government has given their assurance to support the project, but it has to go through a grantee program with the government and were hoping that the financial institutions will approve the capital injections for the start-up capital to begin the airbus program,” Mr Kraus said.
The airline is looking at buying the lease of an ex-Jetstar airbus as the second aircraft.
A letter of intent has been signed and negotiations into the lease agreement is expected to start in the coming weeks.
The aircraft is expected to be in the country by June or August just before the Pacific games in November.
“The planes will be operating additional work by Air Vanuatu, charters, seasonal work charters, potential to expand to Port Moresby and Kiribati, so there’s plenty of work ahead. In the longer term we want to talk with Tonga and Samoa if they have a need for airline services as they don’t have national airlines,” Mr Kraus said.
Mr Kraus added the purchase of the new aircraft will indicate that the airline is committed to its services.
“The purchase will see us having a new modern airplane that is under 10 years old. That’s the newest airplane we’ve got, the twin otter is forty to fifty years old, and the Dash 8 is 30 to 40 years old, with the new aircraft there’ll also be less downtime for maintenance,” he said.
By Sharon Nanau