The new Dash8 operation, although going well since 7th December 2009, will be leaving for PNG to undergo a major Maintenance check called a "C-Check".

This C-Check is due every several thousand hours and whilst the Dash8 has been in the country for a short while, the Solomon Airlines states that Airlines PNG has slotted the Solomon Airlines' Dash8 registered P2-MCQ for a Heavy Maintenance slot from mid to late February.

"Normally such heavy maintenance can take up to six (6) weeks so we have devised and reviewed our current schedule to cater for two Twin Otters and the Islander aircraft during this period of Maintenance as Airlines PNG indicated it cannot replace this aircraft with another in its fleet due to the increased workload driven by the LNG project and other mining contracts now allocated to Airlines PNG," said a spokesperson for the Solomon Airlines.

The spokesperson further indicated that "luckily for us, it's usually one of our quietest periods of the year and we believe that we are able to handle the planned maintenance without too much fuss and trust that no 'unplanned ' maintenance will happen to our current fleet whilst the Dash8 is away."

Solomon Airlines confirmed that during the period of Maintenance of the Dash8, it will not be paying the fees under the contract as 'there will be no flying involved and this will help during our off-peak period noted." The airline said.

Finally, the spokesman indicated, "an interim schedule will be published and available from our offices in the next few days and asks all its travelling clients to check to ensure times/flights etc are confirmed under the Interim schedule".

The Interim schedule is expected to be effective from 14th February until 28th March at the latest and returns in time for our high Easter break season.