Thursday, 22 November 2007 5:09 PM

Solair FC and Ben Hull's article

If Mr. Ben Hull was refering to the time I was previously FC at Solair from Dec 1995 to August 2000, I think you should check your records properly. Also check the composition of that Commission.

In those days, Solair had seven domestic aircraft servicing our domestic ports, and was leasing a B737-300 from Qantas. On a weekly basis we had five services from Brisbane to Honiara, two services to Sydney, two services to Nadi, one service to Vila, one service to Auckland and code-share twice to Port Moresby. Solomon Airlines was servicing the population of SI and was profitable, not by much but was profitable. Show me any record of Govt asssistance during any of that period. Today, Solomon Airlines makes millions of losses, and we protect the perpetrators. It reminds me when I came to Solomon Airlines in 1993, after very similar disastrous decisions to today's problems.

If Mr. Ben Hull's (if that is his real name) was referring to the commission of the late 1990s, yes, I did ask one of the members of that Commission where he got his qualifications from, as his comments were so inconsistent with basic accounting principles. If I remember correctly, I also directed the questions relating to the 1991, 1992, 1993 accounts to one of the members, who was the Financial Advisor at Solair up to 1993. I recalled him turning red from embarrassment when I asked the Commission to direct their questions relating to 1991, 1992 and 1993 back to one of their own members to answer. Mate, that commission was nothing more than a witch hunt to try and dirty Mr Gideon Zoleveke and get rid of him as CEO. I was not about to stand by and listen to the very people that caused the financial hemorrhage to Solair for their 1991 acquisition of a B737-400 straight from the factory, without first finding work for it, sit on the other side of the table and accuse the CEO for the problems some of their members created. Remember when Solair used to sub-lease the B737-400 to Royal Tongan for next to nothing? Well, you can conveniently forget that Mr. Hull.

If I remember correctly, this must be the period you refer to?

For further peace of mind Mr Hull, check my record with Air Niugini, between 2000 and June 2004. See what I did, just like what I did at Solair up to 2000 and what I have done in one month since I came back.

Solomon Airlines is a national asset. We must protect it. I think the $7.0 million a month turn-around at Solair in September is proof of my intentions. October, November and December will ALL be profitable months, because of the deals I entered into with OzJet, Air Vanuatu, Our Airlines and the various code-shares in place right now and the 5% discount as South Pacific Oil.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Baoro Koraua and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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