Solomon Airlines welcomes second Airbus A320

A Solomon Airlines Airbus A320 on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Solomon Islands Government

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare MP has recently expressed his unwavering support for the national flag carrier, Solomon Airlines.

During the official welcome of the country’s second Airbus A320, registered H4-SAL, at the Honiara International Airport, the Prime Minister lauded the airline’s robust board and management, emphasizing their capacity to propel the company into a promising future.

A new beginning for Solomon Airlines

Prime Minister Sogavare deemed this event as the “beginning of a new chapter” for Solomon Airlines. He outlined the airline’s strategic plans, including expanding its fleet and venturing into new routes to serve not only the country but also its neighboring nations.

One of the significant developments for Solomon Airlines is an agreement with Vanuatu, solidifying the use of their Airbus aircraft. This collaboration with their fellow Melanesian brothers sets the stage for increased connectivity and enhanced regional cooperation.

Photo Credit: Solomon Islands Government

Exploring new markets

The national airline is actively considering a fifth direct flight from Australia and plans to re-enter the Papua New Guinea market. Furthermore, proposals are being evaluated for potential partnerships with Samoa and Tonga, while discussions are ongoing to tap into the Republic of Kiribati market.

These strategic moves are geared towards fostering economic growth and strengthening diplomatic ties between nations.


Expansion into long-haul flights

Prime Minister Sogavare unveiled the government’s vision for Solomon Airlines to expand its horizons beyond the Pacific region.

Plans are underway to launch direct, non-stop, long-haul flights to destinations such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and China.

To realize this vision, the airline must upgrade its fleet to include appropriate, fuel-efficient, wide-body aircraft capable of handling long-haul routes.

To support the ambitious expansion into long-haul flights, Solomon Airlines and the government are committed to upgrading both the international airport and the international terminal.

Plans are already in the works to extend the international airport to accommodate wide-body aircraft.

The government has also received a promising indication of partnership from the People’s Republic of China, further bolstering this infrastructure development project.

The benefits of non-stop long-haul flights

The Prime Minister highlighted the numerous benefits of offering non-stop, long-haul flights. This includes reducing travel time for passengers, simplifying travel visa requirements, and enhancing travel convenience for inbound and outbound travelers.

Additionally, the project is expected to have a positive impact on the tourism industry, attracting more visitors and stimulating investments in the country.

Financing the future

Solomon Airlines is the national airline of Solomon Islands, based in Honiara. It was established in 1962 as a charter airline by Laurie Crowley, and began scheduled flights in 1963. The airline’s headquarters are located at Honiara International Airport, and its main hub is also Honiara

The recent addition to the fleet, the Airbus A320 H4-SAL, has been leased from Jetstar Australia. To facilitate this acquisition, the National Provident Fund (NPF) has provided a USD 3 million loan to Solomon Airlines. This strategic financial support will aid the airline’s growth and expansion plans.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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