Warmest wishes from Solomon Airlines
Posted on December 23, 2021 at 07:00 AM in General News
Dear Friends of Solomon Airlines,
As the year-end is almost upon us, on behalf of the Solomon Airlines team, I want to sincerely thank you, our customers, and business partners for your loyalty and for standing by us through this difficult time. We also want to thank CAASI, the Solomon Islands Government, Australian, and New Zealand Governments, and of course, the Solomon Airlines team, for your unstinting support through one of the most difficult times in our aviation careers.
On March 27th last year we were told to cease international flying and the general consensus was that the COVID-19 restrictions would last about 6 months. Here we are 21 months later still wondering when the travel restrictions will be lifted. Just as 2020 and 2021 were really tough years for all of us, we are prepared for another long year before we think the situation will improve markedly.
Our international borders have remained closed, and even as more Solomon Islanders choose to be vaccinated, around the world the second COVID-19 Delta strain and now the new variant ‘Omicron’ continue to stand in the way of reopening Solomon Islands and the recovery of our aviation, inbound tourism industries as well as all the support services that have been impacted by this virus.
The recent unrest in Honiara added to an already difficult situation as this not only damaged local businesses and livelihoods but has also had a profoundly negative impact on our economy and on the international perception of our beautiful island home.
However, notwithstanding such serious challenges, Solomon Airlines has endured, and despite adversity, we continue finding ways, to keep our nation flying.
We sought and secured numerous international charters putting our Airbus A320 aircraft to good use, flying reliably to many countries. Our popular Iumi Tugeda holidays program designed to support local tourism operators has been extended again to cater to the growing domestic tourism market.
The airline’s revenue is derived equally from Domestic and International operations however, it is the international operation that ensures that the parts critical to the domestic operation are delivered to Honiara as and when needed. This essential service has ensured that we can continue flying to all 23 of our domestic destinations. The A320’s cargo capacity has been used to ensure that medical supplies, vaccines, parts, mail, and many other essential supplies have been reliably delivered to Honiara every Friday for the past 21 months.
Looking forward we can increase services immediately when borders reopen. It will however take a long time to rebuild our international traffic and to help rebuild Solomon Islands image as the friendly, safe, and attractive destination for which we are world-renowned. We are looking forward to that day.
In the meantime, all of us at Solomon Airlines would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and blessed holiday season surrounded by family and friends.
Chief Executive Officer
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