Following ongoing consultation with the Solomon Islands and Australian Governments, Solomon Airlines today announced changes to the airline’s Australian flight schedule in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Announcing the changes, Chief Executive Officer Brett Gebers said the airline would continue to review its operations in light of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and with the interests of Solomon Islanders as the company’s highest priority.
“At a time where a number of large airlines around the world are completelydiscontinuing their international operations, in so far as we are able, we will provide as much support to the Solomon Islands as well as to our fellow Islanders in the South Pacific to allow for the safe movement of essential personnel as well as critical supplies to continue.”
“We will continue to take guidance and clear advice provided by Government health authorities.
“Our international flying provides a critical link between the Solomon Islands and the rest of the world, and as such, we will try to maintain this link as far as possible, even in likelihood of increasing restrictions,“ he said.
Solomon Airlines regular schedule operates 10 flights weekly (5 flights in each direction) between Honiara and Brisbane, Australia. Until further notice flights will reduce to 6 flights weekly (3 flights in each direction). The following flight suspensions are envisaged remain in place until October, 2020.
- Brisbane to Munda – direct international flights, suspended on 14 March 2020.
- Effective from 21 March, suspension of the Saturday Honiara-Brisbane service.
- Effective from 22 March, suspension of Saturday Brisbane-Honiara service.
- Effective from 28 March, suspension of all Solomon Airlines Saturday and Sunday services between Honiara and Brisbane and return.
The airline said it was currently considering whether further schedule adjustments would be required in response to announcements by the Australian and New Zealand governments in the last 24 hours.
Both Governments have placed travel bans preventing all non-residents and non-citizens from entering Australia or New Zealand. The new ban does not apply to Australians living in New Zealand, or New Zealand nationals in Australia.
“We will continue to keep our passengers and partners in formed and we apologise for any inconvenience that these necessary changes may cause, as we all work through this difficult time,” Mr Gebers added.
Solomon Airlines staff members are contacting all travel agents and passengers affected by the changes to make alternative bookings on flights operating either before or after original dates of travel. Solomon Airlines has also introduced a fee waiver policy to provide greater flexibility for customers who are uncertain about their booked travel in the coming months.
The airline has announced a one-time, change fee waiver for those passengers ticketed by 16 March, 2020 and booked for travel up to and including 30 June 2020. Solomon Airlines passengers who have booked flights through a travel agency or third-party website (not booked through www.flysolomons.com), are advised to contact these companies directly to make any changes.
Passengers with bookings made directly with Solomon Airlines (via www.flysolomons.com) are asked to contact the airline’s Sales Office or Reservations team to make any changes.
Latest Solomon Airlines Travel Advice is available on our website www.flysolomons.com
Source: Solomon Airlines