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Solomon Airlines marks Independence Day with initiatives to support tourism recovery

Posted on July 07, 2020 at 08:00 AM in General News

  • Domestic fare and holiday specials announced
  • New international policies to encourage intra-Pacific regional bubble

Solomon Airlines has marked Independence Day 2020 by announcing a series of domestic travel specials and providing further flexibility and support for passengers booking future international travel. The airline is continuing to operate to its 23 Solomon Islands domestic destinations and today announced special fares and holiday deals across its network. 

Save 10% with 14-Day Advance Purchase Fares

New 14-day Advance Purchase fares have been announced on selected routes including travel between Arona, Atoifi, Ballalae, Bellona, Choiseul Bay, Fera, Kirakira, Kagau, Lomlom, Manaoba, Marau, Parasi, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, and Honiara. These fares offer a 10% discount off regular return economy prices for customers who book at least two weeks in advance and are valid for travel from 3rd August to 15th December 2020. See www.flysolomons.com for further details, special conditions apply.

‘Helpful Holidays’ Destinations Expanded

Solomon Airlines has also announced the next phase of its popular ‘Helpful Holidays’ tourism initiative now including Suavanao. In addition to Seghe, Munda, Marau, and Gizo, the discounted holiday packages for travel between 31 July and 31 August 2020 are developed in conjunction with accommodation partners and offer savings of up to 50% off regular prices. Bookings and further details are available by contacting their Point Cruz Sales Office.

Making future travel easier for existing international passengers

Solomon Airlines passengers who had bought tickets on/before 28 March 2020 that were impacted by their international flight suspensions, have been offered ticket validity extensions to use their tickets for travel all the way to 31 December 2021.

Solomon Airlines will also offer Belama Club members holding 2020 memberships credits for a renewed membership once the Belama Lounge at Honiara International Airport reopens. The Belama Club offers members special benefits including Priority Check-in and Seating, Express Clearance (Brisbane), additional Baggage Allowance, and full use of the exclusive Belama Club Lounge at the Honiara International Airport. The Lounge has been closed since border restrictions were announced and regular scheduled international flights were suspended.

Solomon Airlines has also introduced a newly developed ‘Chatbot’ accessible via the homepage of the airline’s website. The interactive chat window launched this month, is designed to help guests with queries related to Covid-19 and Solomon Airlines policies.

The airline will also consider additional policies to support international passengers booked to travel in the future, once there is more clarity around changes to the current border restrictions.

Charting a course for greater Pacific co-operation post Covid-19

“As the national carrier and especially in the current climate we must do our best to consider the needs of Solomon Islanders now and in the future,” said Brett Gebers CEO of Solomon Airlines.

“It is vitally important for communities and for the economy, that we help people to travel again with confidence, within the Solomon Islands, and in the not too distant future, to and from international destinations.

“Solomon Islands tourism businesses, in particular, are experiencing difficult conditions due to international border closures, however, it is recognised among the global community, that Solomon Islands is one of the very few countries in the world to remain Covid-19 free.

“That is a significant achievement and a credit to the Solomon Islands Government for putting the welfare of Solomon Islanders first.  It is also a very positive and significant factor in future tourism development.

“Currently Solomon Airlines international scheduled flying is suspended until 31 August, however, we are planning ahead and liaising with our Pacific neighbours to consider potential opportunities for regional economic benefit,” he said.

Mr. Gebers supported the concept of a Pacific Travel Bubble allowing quarantine-free movement between Covid-free countries within Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia.

“Travel bubbles, or travel bridges allow quarantine free movement of travellers from certain countries where the coronavirus has not occurred or has been contained.

“Countries deemed to be included in the bubble agree to open their borders to each other, but may keep borders to all other countries closed for a period of time,” he said.

Josefa Tuamoto, CEO of Tourism Solomons agreed.

“Many of our Pacific countries have adopted new screening protocols and are now better informed and equipped to diagnose and treat Covid-19 should an issue occur,” he said.

“While Australia and New Zealand continue to explore options for a trans-Tasman bubble, we believe there is merit in forming a travel bubble of Intra-regional Pacific nation groupings.

“An arrangement between the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu for example, could help our countries in their preparedness before opening borders to larger leisure destinations,“ he said.

As of 6 July, 2020, of 197 United Nations recognised countries, no cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Solomon Islands or Vanuatu, nor in the sovereign states of Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

Latest updates are provided on the Solomon Airlines website and their social media channels.

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