By EDDIE OSIFELO
SOLOMON Airlines is expecting an estimated cash flow loss of $23 million this year due to the impact of covid-19.
As such, the company is looking to the government to assist its operation and activities.
Chief Executive Officer, Brett Gebers told the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament this week the loss comes about because international operations is not picking up.
Financial Controller, Vincent Misi said the Government has assisted the company with $20 million under the Economic Stimulus Package.
He said $15 million comes as loan while $5m as grant.
“In terms of finance is very challenging, we are in the survival mood.
“We really need support from government. How long the pandemic continue is a big challenge for airlines,” he said.
Misi said Airlines has leased out one twin outer to Air Kiribati to help them with financial difficulty.
He said A320 airline is still currently operating.
“The lease cost is fixed and hard for renegotiate at the moment with leasing company.
“We pay $1.5 million ($195,000 US per month on the lease cost,” he said.
Currently, the government is working with Solomon Airlines to introduce the ‘domestic bubble’ where passengers can travel two destinations around the country on affordable package.
Ministry of Communication and Aviation permanent secretary, Moses Virivolomo said a study is carried out on Solomon Airlines to help the government to privatised it or not in future.