Monday, 11 May 2009 3:00 PM

Solomon Airlines Clarifies Disruptions on International Flights

Solomon Airlines last Friday were given notice by Our Airline that their B737 aircraft would not be available until Sunday due to some maintenance issues.

A spokesperson for the Solomon Airlines said that they had reviewed all operators in Australia seeking a similar aircraft to operate its services but there were none available.

On that basis, Solomon Airlines made a decision to maintain some part of its schedule by hiring Alliance Airlines who operate a fleet of Fokker 100.

"This aircraft is really not suitable with the distance to Honiara or the loads we operate but we had no choice on Friday last and there were some disruptions on the outbound flights and we had to call in to Townsville for additional fuel," the airline spokesperson said.

"On Sunday 10th May, a last minute call by Our Airline indicated that their aircraft was still not available and a call to secure another aircraft only came up with Alliance Fokker 100 aircraft again that could do our schedules," he continued.

After assessing that the Fokker 100 was not going to take the load and some last minute fuel decisions, the total load was affected and therefore about 500kgs or so of baggage was left behind in Brisbane.

Some divers and other guests were affected and the Airlines said it truly regrets what happened. "The choices simply were not available to make any other commercial decision and it ran with the best or what there was available."

A chartered Air Vanuatu B737-800 series aircraft that will clear all offloaded baggage and cargo will now operate today's flight.

Further services with Our Airline is yet to be confirmed but the airline summed up its decision to move to a dedicated Airbus A320 operation with Strategic Airlines just announced as " the way to our future".