Solomon Airlines has welcomed Australia’s new international border rules, which this week open the country’s borders to all fully vaccinated visa holders, preparing for the return of tourists, business travellers, and other visitors.
Since the Australian Government started a gradual reopening of the country’s borders from 1 November 2021, more than 580,000 overseas travellers have arrived in Australia to reunite with family and loved ones, or to work or study.
From today, travellers across all eligible visa categories can now enter Australia, as long as they are COVID-19 fully vaccinated or have acceptable proof that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
Visa holders who are not fully vaccinated still require a valid travel exemption to enter Australia, and are also subject to the country’s state and territory quarantine requirements.
Solomon Airlines said the new rules will mean many more passengers for the airline’s service between Honiara and Brisbane which currently operates every Friday through to 1 July 2022.
To coincide with Australia’s border reopening, the airline has restored its normal booking process for its Honiara to Brisbane weekly flight. It is again possible to book seats on the flights via the website www.flysolomons.com and through travel agencies who have access to Solomon Airlines flights.
“This is a welcome relief to our business and will also be very welcome news to many people who need or want to fly to Australia and other countries via Brisbane,” said Solomon Airlines CEO Brett Gebers.
“Australia’s reopening is credited to the overwhelming COVID-19 vaccination rate within the country.
“As of this month, over 94% of all Australians over 16 years of age are fully vaccinated, a vaccination level that we must strive to get close to in the Solomon Islands,” he said.
Solomon Airlines said the convenience of again being able to book Honiara to Brisbane online, will benefit passengers who prefer to book via the airline’s website using a credit card. It also means those flying via Brisbane and transiting to other countries can book their flights on a single ticket.
Passengers travelling from Solomon Islands to Australia are currently exempt from pre-departure testing requirements. Passengers transiting in Australia to another country will likely require proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test and will need to check the requirements of their other airline and destination country.
A Digital Passenger Declaration is required to be submitted within 72 hours prior to departure, replacing the previous Australia Travel Declaration form.
Honiara to Brisbane bookings can be made online via Solomon Airlines website www.flysolomons.com or by calling the airline’s Reservations team on 177 (local call) or visiting their Point Cruz Sales Office.
Brisbane to Honiara flights are still only bookable through the airline’s Sales Offices in Point Cruz and Australia and are currently unable to be booked online, due to border restrictions, approval processes, mandatory checks and quarantine requirements.