Munda airport in the Solomon Islands is set to open to international traffic during the second quarter of 2018 following a lengthy reconstruction period, the New Zealand High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, Don Higgins, has told Radio New Zealand.
Located on New Georgia Island, Munda airfield's reconstruction has taken seven years and has been funded by New Zealand. According to the Solomon Times, the New Zealand government has allocated at least USD26 million to the project.
Once works have been completed, expected in March or April 2018, Solomons - Solomon Airlines (IE, Honiara) will look to relaunch direct international flights to Brisbane Int'l, Higgins said.
According to the ch-aviation capacity module, the Solomon Islands' flag carrier is currently the sole operator at Munda, flying 10x weekly to the capital Honiara, 7x weekly to Gizo and 1x weekly to each of Kagau, Ramata and Sege.
Munda, the main port of call closest to the popular Marovo lagoon, should see a boost in tourism arrivals, and perhaps potential investors, once international flights open up.
Indications are positive, international visitor arrivals to Solomon Islands soared in September 2017.
Figures released by the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office show a total of 2,397 international travellers visited Solomon Islands in September 2017 — a 67.8 percent increase over the 1,428 visitors recorded for the same month in 2016.