Solomons Airlines’ latest aircraft, the A320ceo with sharklets with the registration of H4-SAL has debuted for the press in Honiara after its delivery flight from Brisbane carrying government officials, dignitaries, and invited VIP guests.
The lucky few had the ability to view the interior of the aircraft. This marks a new era for the airline, proudly flying the flag of the Solomons Islands.
The airline’s new cabin is fitted with a modern interior in the tones and colors of blue, grey, and white, and is equipped with all-leather seats across two classes.
In Business Class, there are 12 lounger seats with a 2 – 2 configuration, with seats being 21 inches wide with an impressive recline of 10 inches and 40 inches in seat pitch.
In economy class, it is the standard 3 -3 configuration with 17 inches of pitch and a seat recline of 3 inches, and 33 inches worth of seat pitch. There are in total 138 economy-class seats.
Tailor-Made Inside and Out
The aircraft was customed-fitted to the airline’s needs. This includes a configuration offering 8 more economy class seats than the airline’s other A320, the H4-SIB. The livery scheme is simple yet, eye-catching, unique, and modern.
The exterior of the aircraft shows the latest features of the national flag carrier’s iconic blue, green, and yellow livery and a 60th anniversary year logo to commemorate the success of the airline’s flawless operations.
Solomon Airlines have also added an easter egg for those with a ‘sharp eye’: The Pacific Games Mascot is also visible on the right-hand side of the aircraft door to warmly welcome the passengers as they alight the aircraft.
The new aircraft is also added with the new ‘sharklet’ modification, which are vertical extensions of the wingtips. This technology or modification helps reduce the drag generated from the airflow as the aircraft flies through the skies.
These added sharklets are adapted on most A320s flying today, with scientific evidence of reduced operating costs.
Solomon Airlines CEO Mr. Gus Kraus spoke enthusiastically of the latest aircraft: “Improved fuel efficiency, passenger comfort, and the combination of fast cruising speed, longer range, and higher two-class seat capacity make this a very attractive narrowbody international aircraft. As the nation’s flagship carrier, we also wanted to do something unique inside and out.”
The Solomon Islands has always been a popular destination for leisure and business travel. The airline will cater to all demographics and traffic.
The CEO later commented: “As many of our passengers fly to Honiara for business, and we would like them to explore further, we decided to surprise them with a glimpse of the beauty of our islands, long before we arrive.”
Moreover, the airline has included a picture of Marau Sound snapped by the renowned travel photographer David Kirkland. His artwork can be visible on the inside of the wingtip sharklets. Seen in the picture below.
The airline is ready for the increase in traffic in time for the 17th Pacific Games, hence, the need for a second A320. Mr. Kraus stated: “This second aircraft doubles our international capacity and will enable Solomon Airlines to meet the demand for travel to Honiara for the 17th Pacific Games later this year.”
The CEO furthered: “In the longer term Solomon Airlines is now better placed to accommodate commercial services and charters and leases to support other Pacific Island nations. ”
In fact, this second A320 has now entered commercial service on the 29th of July from Honiara to Nadi as flight IE702.
Solomon Airline’s Fleet
Entering its 6 decades of flying, the airline has proudly served the people of Solomon Islands with a small fleet of capable and durable regional aircraft of 1 De Havilland Canada 8-100 (Dash 8) and 3 x De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter, one of which is contracted out flying in Vanuatu.
Now, the airline has recently welcomed a new A320, increasing the number of A320s to two. By all means, the airline is not as large as Fiji Airlines but it intends to proudly serve the lifeline of the Solomon Island, culturally and economically.
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