By EDDIE OSIFELO
SOLOMON Airlines Limited has a credit balance of $57 million with a bigger chunk of it going towards Government departure tax and spare parts for its aircrafts.
Finance Manager, Peter Soqoilo revealed this to the media in a press conference on Tuesday.
Soqoilo said of the $57 million, around $34 million relates to Government use.
“So, the actuals we owed to the Government is around $22 million.
“Of the $22 million, the bigger component is around our leasing,” he said.
Soqoilo said the Airlines currently leased two aircrafts A320 and one of the twin outers.
“The twin outer we actually subleased that to Air Kiribati, but we still owe the less of some big substantial amount from when we are holding it up here from March 2020 to around November.
“The other bigger chunk of the $22 million is owed Pacific Turbine, those are the suppliers of spare parts for the aircraft,” he said.
Soqoilo said basically, those few suppliers accounts for bigger portion of the $22 million.
Furthermore, Soqoilo said the operation costs for the airlines in one year is $280 million to $330 million.
He said last year, airlines had made a loss of around $31 million.
Chairman of SAL, Frank Wickham said they are under discussion with the government in regards to the Economic Stimulus package.
He said this is for government to give them some relief and convert some of the outstanding dues to equity.
“The government indicated that they want to see the loan attended to as it is a concessional loan, they have given us three years grace period, interest free,” he said.
However, he said they are hoping to get more revenue from upcoming charters.
Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Brett Gebers said they are in much better position with outstanding creditors compared to Fiji airwars and Air Nuigini because their scale of their problem is much smaller.