Friday, 19 December 2008 1:15 PM

No Government Support for Airlines

The national carrier, Solomon Airlines, has been operating on its own for so many years, according to Airlines General Manager Commercial Services, Gus Kraus.

He said that to say the year has been challenging is an understatement.

"We have experienced all seasons of difficulties in one go and to say that it was a challenge is an understatement," Mr. Kraus said.

He said that with little support from the government, the airlines had been struggling on its own for quite some time.

Insiders in the company said that government support has not been forthcoming for some time.

"We have not been getting much support from the government for some years now," a reliable insider told Solomon Times.

Meanwhile, a former General Manager of the Solomon Airlines, Gideon Zoleveke (Jr.), said that this was very much the case during his time with the company.

He said that the government was initially supportive of the national carrier, particularly during the early days, when late John Baura was General Manager.

Mr. Zoleveke said that government support gradually declined over the next 30 years.
He said the company has, since then, been on its own struggling to make ends meet.

Mr. Zoleveke was General Manager for the Airlines in 1996 - 2002 and later resigned in 2006.

With the newly adopted open sky policy, several carriers are now making regular trips to the Solomon Islands. Insiders say that the Solomon Airlines needs to be strategic as it faces new competition.

An attempt to get comments from the government was not successful.