Monday, 4 May 2009 1:26 PM

Solomon Airlines Suspends Code-Share Agreement to and from Fiji with Air Niugini

Solomon Airlines, in a press statement, said that they would be terminating the current code-share agreement, on the Solomon Islands and Fiji route, currently operated by Solomon Airlines and Air Niugini.

The suspension will come into effect after the return trip from Nadi on Monday 04 May 2009.

"Solomon Airlines have been in re-negotiations since the last agreement expired in November last year and due to several matters in dispute and what appears to be irreconcilable commercial differences regarding travel between Solomon Islands and Fiji, our National Airline indicated that there was no point in further discussions as we would lose too much money in the revised proposal from Air Niugini," an airline spokesman indicated.

The press statement said that at the heart of the commercial differences was the fact that Air Niugini has decided to peg the number of seats and the price in which it intends for Solomon Airlines to pay for each seat, surcharges, cargo and excess baggage.

Solomon Airlines only used to pay Air Niugini, as the operator for all passengers, cargo and excess baggage lifted a certain percentage on the Solomon Islands - Fiji route.

"The issue was the price quoted by Air Niugini to our airline would have meant us paying more to Air Niugini than what we earned from the above sources of income, that does not make commercial sense," a spokesman for the National Carrier said.

Solomon Airlines said it believed that the working relationship between both parties has been important for the development of services between the Melanesian Countries and the route opened by Air Niugini two years or so back was fundamental in ensuring it remained as a partner on the route.

Air Pacific continues to operate on Tuesdays after withdrawing its Friday services and Air Niugini have yet to indicate their intentions during this ensuing period.

"We are still partners with Air Pacific and we will now ensure our clients are offered alternatives with us making some returns on our investment."

Passengers holding reservations on the affected services from next week are being notified and will be offered alternative flights.

"We hope that a suitable solution will be addressed soon and are looking for our own potential solutions in operating future services to ensure our travelers are respected and protected for future."