BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
SOLOMON Airlines has been working closely with the national tourist office in promoting the country as a tourism destination which shows progress in international and domestic flights.
Recently, Solomon Airlines signed a deal with national tourism office which resulted in airline operating an Airbus A320 on its four weekly services between Brisbane and Honiara and to Nadi, Fiji; Port Vila, Vanuatu, and Tarawa in Kiribati.
Furthermore, major developments taking place within last 18 months have included signing of watershed codeshare agreements with Qantas Airways, Air Niugini and Fiji Airways.
According to the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau such gives Solomon Airlines access to a huge international network encompassing Australia and New Zealand, Asia, North America and Europe.
The national carrier also provides a vital domestic air lifeline for some 600,000 Solomon Islanders living in this archipelago of some 990 islands as well as ease of access for the 25,000 or so international visitors Solomon Islands attracts every year.
This extensive domestic network is operated by a Dash 8 – 102 between the nation’s capital of Honiara to Seghe, Munda, Gizo, Kira and Santa Cruz while Twin Otters operate to all other ports.
Meanwhile, a new development for Tourism Solomons and Solomon Airlines is Solomon Airlines to operate Airbus A-320 into Munda.
It said Solomon Airlines’ decision to fully incorporate Munda as a main port of entry for the Solomon Islands has seen the Western Province airfield transformed into the country’s second major air gateway.
Also the national carrier expected to commence a Brisbane-Munda-Honiara-Brisbane service operating on Saturday’s before the end of 2018.
The improvements to the Munda Airport are intended to bring a range of benefits, it said.
This is particularly from increased passenger movements, increased tourism to the Western Province and points beyond, improved safety for larger aircraft, increased aviation freight and further government revenue from the aviation sector.