BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
THE Solomon Airlines A320 H4-BUS being sent to ST Aerospace Engineering in Singapore for scheduled maintenance since February is still waiting for one of its engines under restoration work.
This is according to a Solomon Airlines media statement yesterday, which said one of the engines required some schedule restoration work to be carried out in which a six-month long search prior to the commencement of the scheduled check failed to find a suitable engine for Solomon Airlines to lease or purchase.
“The engine fitted to the A320 was sent to TAP engine workshop in Lisbon, Portugal, for the restoration work to be carried out in an agreed 56-day period.
“Due to the long lead time in acquiring parts, the 56 days have now passed and the engine is still in the workshop while the aircraft remains in Singapore awaiting the engine.
“There is a critical worldwide shortage of engines and parts and specifically for the CFM56-5A1 engine fitted to this aircraft. Other much larger carriers such as Air France and Air Canada are struggling to find engines.
“With only one A320 in the fleet, Solomon Airlines is obviously in a more difficult position than other airlines.”
As an interim solution, Nauru Airlines is currently flying the Solomon Airlines schedule under a wet lease arrangement.
It is anticipated the situation will be resolved within the next 30 to 60 days.