HONIARA, Solomon Islands (eTN) – The Australian-based SkyAirWorld company had entered Solomon Islands airline competition. Its inaugural flight from Brisbane in Australia to Honiara touched down at Honiara International Airport 10am local time Monday.
SkyAirWorld is a privately-owned airline by a business group in Australia which had negotiations with Solomon Islands aviation authorities over the past months to have access into Solomon Islands lucrative tourist route.
It will initially make five flights a week into Honiara from Brisbane using its 94-seater Embraer Jet and hope to make six within the next few months.
SkyAirWorld CEO David Charlton had said that the airline plans to extend its services to Munda, in the Western Solomon Islands when the time is right to boost tourist arrivals. “The service will start once formalities with the western provincial government and up grading of Munda airstrip is completed,” he said, adding that the service will carry both passenger and cargo.
The western provincial government had welcomed the development saying it will help boost tourism development in the province.
Mr. Charlton said the airline is currently engaged in infrastructure development to accommodate the servicing of its aircraft in Honiara and expects to provide employment for the locals. He says the company’s long association with Solomon Islands has given them the confidence in operating an international air service into Solomon Islands.
Speaking at the inaugural flight, Mr. Charlton said the company is very pleased with the outcome of negotiations made over the past months and the support it received from the government and the public in Australia, Solomon Islands and other countries such as Japan. “The bookings have been pretty good for a start with most of the seats now booked for the coming weeks and a charter for a group of tourists from Japan is under consideration” he said.
SkyAirWorld will fly into Honiara on every day except Saturdays and Sundays.
The entrance of SkyAirWorld in the competition had resulted in decrease in airfares on airlines already serving the route, especially Solomon Airlines. Other airlines competing are Solomon Airlines, Our Airline, Air Pacific and Air Niugini.