Solomon Airlines has confirmed the temporary suspension of flights between Honiara and Marau effective today 7 January until further notice, due to an ongoing dispute between local landowners.
The airline described the suspension as ‘regrettable but unavoidable’ to avoid any risk to passengers and aircraft.
“This is unfortunately yet another example of how the operations of Solomon Islands’ national airline can be interrupted by landowners prioritising their own interests above those of their communities and the travelling public,” said Brett Gebers, CEO of Solomon Airlines.
“We are forced to suspend services irrespective of valid and existing agreements being in place, which means members of the public are now deprived of air services that they are relying upon, and tourism businesses are deprived of visitors and sources of income.
“However, we simply cannot fly when we cannot guarantee the safety of our passengers, staff and aircraft,” he said.
Solomon Airlines confirmed Marau is one of Solomon Islands most popular holiday destinations and one of the top 3 selling destinations in the “Iumi Tugeda Holidays” domestic tourism program alongside Gizo and Munda. Marau is also home to Tavanipupu Wellness & Spa Retreat and Milk Fish Bungalows.
“We hope that sense will prevail and there will be a swift resolution so that without risk, things can get back to normal in the near future,” Mr Gebers commented.
Solomon Airlines is contacting all impacted passengers and will continue to advise passengers and the public of any further developments.
Source: Solomon Airlines