The SkyAirWorld has cancelled two of its three weekly Brisbane-Honiara flights for February and March, starting today.The National Express was informed that SkyAirWorld has cancelled its Brisbane-Honiara weekly flights on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but will continue to maintain its weekly Saturday flight on the Brisbane-Honiara route.
When the National Express contacted the SkyAirWorld Operations Manager in Brisbane, Andrew Gordon, over the weekend, he said that their Marketing Manager, Peter Schott, would be the right person to speak to on the issue.
In a subsequent telephone interview with Mr. Schott from Brisbane yesterday, he would not confirm or deny the report, but said that SkyAirWorld would put out a statement on the issue some time this week.
"You have obviously spoken to someone who has seen our schedules but we will put out a statement on that some time mid-next week," Mr. Schott said.
However, the National Express understands that the reason why Sky Air World decided to cancel two of its three weekly Brisbane-Honiara flights is because it has won contract arrangements to operate charters between the Queensland city of Cairns and Japan during February and March.
Since the Solomon Islands Government recently decided to encourage competition in the country's aviation industry, the two new competitors has only come into operation on the most lucrative Brisbane-Honiara route.
The competition started with the SkyAirWorld nearly two years ago, followed by Pacific Blue which started to operate on the Brisbane-Honiara route at the beginning of December last year.
On domestic air services in Solomon Islands, while it has been all talks so far, no new airline including SkyAirWorld and Pacific Blue has moved to operate domestic air services in Solomon Islands.
Before the entry of the SkyAirWorld and Pacific Blue into the Solomon Islands aviation industry, Solomon Airlines has been using surplus revenue from its international operations to subsidize its uneconomical domestic operations.
Up until the entry of SkyAirWorld and Pacific Blue into the Brisbane-Honiara route, Solomon Airlines had been relying heavily on its Brisbane-Honiara route for 84% of its total revenue.
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