Call to re-open Manaoba airport

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Manaoba Airport
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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

REPRESENTATIVE of Lolo tribe Frank Lauta Daoga has called on the Government and the Solomon Airlines to resume services to Manaoba airport.

Speaking to Island Sun, Daoga said the people who are behind the closure of airport do not have the right to do so.

“Once the closure continues and the disputes continues, I will call for an arrest on those people who got monies from the government for fake contracts and projects.

“I want the airport to re-open so that the government can get revenue from that airport,” Daoga said.

“Government has already spent about $15 million on those people behind the closure of the airport through contracts, and they have not properly used the monies on those projects and contracts claimed,” Daoga said.

He added those people are not even real landowners of Manaoba.

On April 26 Solomon Airlines advised the passengers that due to risk associated with interrupted services caused by the local landowners’ dispute, the airline has suspended all flights to and from Manaoba indefinitely.

The suspension is effective immediately including cancellation of today’s service. The airline is endeavouring to contact all affected passengers.

While we sincerely regret the inconvenience to our passengers, the matter is simple. Landowners have advised us to suspend services until an ongoing local landowners disagreement can be settled,” said CEO of Solomon Airlines Mr Brett Gebers.

We are therefore cancelling all services to Manaoba indefinitely as the constant disruption to our schedule cannot be tolerated.

“While we appreciate that there may be local issues yet to be resolved and which are outside of our control, we have an obligation to all who rely upon our scheduled flights across the Solomon Islands,” Mr Gebers said.

Airlines cannot easily start and restart flights and airstrip operations on a whim. Behind the scenes, managing flight operations to regional areas is a significant activity which requires scheduling aircraft and equipment, fuel supplies, rostering of crew, management of passenger and cargo booking processes,” he said.

“At a time when we are seeking to recover and rebuild Solomon Airlines, we have no choice but to make a sensible decision to suspend flying to airports where our services are not required.”


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