PARTNER TO STAY AFLOAT

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By EDDIE OSIFELO

SOLOMON Airlines is working with other airline companies in the region to stay afloat during this covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking through zoom from Australia, Chief Executive Officer, Brett Gebers told media yesterday that he took over as Chairman of the South Pacific Airlines a couple of years ago.

“At that time, I said to all of my colleagues in the South Pacific that are actually small airlines.

“Being small airlines, we have a lot of inefficiencies and if we actually start working together, we can eliminate some of these inefficiencies,” he said.

Gebers said Nauru, Air Kiribati, Air Niugini, Air Vanuatu and Solomon Airlines are all searching on how to work together that will serve them money.

“For example, do we have to have airport officers at each airport that we fly to.

“Then we discovered, we don’t have to, we can share some of the airports,” he said.

Gebers said at the moment he is working with Air Kiribati particularly to see how to actually help them.

“One thing we did for them is we sub lease a twin outer that we don’t need and they desperately need it.

“We have been doing some flights for Air Kiribati. They do have their own aircraft which currently they are not able to use for the purpose, that may change,” he said.

However, Gebers said he had worked with former CEO of Air Vanuatu, but is yet to discuss a proposal with new CEO of Air Vanuatu.

Newly appointed Chairman of Solomon Airlines, Frank Wickham said the current COVID issue has posed some national airlines to look at potential partnerships to try and realise some more economic of scale and it may work out that working together would be better for all of us

Furthermore, Wickham said he looks forward to further constructive interaction with the media and stakeholders and welcome constructive ideas.

“This is our Airline and would like to make it work and I am sure the CEO and management team would like to see that we have good and strong involvement by our shareholders and the people of this country to make our Airlines continue to fly through these difficult times and soar high when the skies are clearer,” he added.

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