Solomon Airlines has announced domestic schedule enhancements with the national carrier’s newest Twin Otter, registered H4-SIC now in full service, enabling more direct flights, new flight options and greater frequency on selected routes.
The new aircraft is now deployed to operate a full weekly schedule, between Honiara and Marau, Fera, Suavanao, Seghe, Santa Ana, Arona, Kirakira, Santa Cruz, Lomlom and Rennell.
The schedule changes which have been loaded into Solomon Airlines flight booking system, are effective from Monday 28 June 2021.
A summary of the main changes include:
HONIARA TO MARAU – NEW DIRECT FLIGHTS
• New direct services will operate between Honiara and Marau on Monday and Friday to support demand for long weekend stays under the Iumi Tugeda Holidays programme.
PARASI TO HONIARA – NEW DIRECT FLIGHT
• A new direct flight option from Parasi to Honiara will now operate on Fridays (services were previously operated via Marau).
MORE FLIGHTS THROUGH AUKI
• Auki has been established as an additional transit port for both Solomon Airlines Dash 8 and Twin Otter aircraft services. The airline’s Kirakira to Honiara flight on Mondays and the Honiara to Manaoba service on Tuesdays will now travel via Auki.
• Services between Honiara and Atoifi will change from Tuesdays to Wednesdays, and also travel via Auki, offering new routes from Malaita’s provincial capital.
AIRCRAFT SWAP AT SANTA CRUZ
• Due to the current runway deterioration at Santa Cruz Airport, Solomon Airlines has temporarily suspended De Havilland Dash 8-100 aircraft operations replacing the heavier aircraft with Twin Otter services and introducing a new 4th frequency on Saturdays. Solomon Airlines continues to fly to all 23 domestic destinations in the Solomon Islands domestic network.
Under the new schedule departure times may change slightly on some domestic flights. Colin Sigimanu, Commercial Manager for Solomon Airlines reviews its domestic schedule quarterly to improve services based on demand, seasonality and operating environments.
“We take many factors into account when we review our seasonal schedules, most importantly we strive to provide the services that our customers need,” he said.
“Demand for domestic travel has been steady and now with the addition of our latest Twin Otter we are able to make improvements we have been considering for some time,” he added.
“We try always to provide the most convenient services we can between our islands, operating direct routes where possible and making sure we fly on days of the week that suit demand.
“Our new direct flights between Honiara and Marau on Fridays and Mondays are an example of that, providing a schedule that works well with the increasing demand for weekend packages under our Iumi Tugeda Holidays,” he added.
“Unfortunately, other factors which can drive schedule changes can be outside of our control, such as the current damage and deterioration of Lata airstrip runway as well as land ownership disputes that cause runways to be closed.
“We cannot currently safely land the Dash-8 aircraft at Santa Cruz and so have no choice other than suspending Dash-8 operations until that issue is addressed,” he said