Solomon Airlines CEO Mr. Gus Kraus met with newly appointed CEO of Air Vanuatu Mr. Joseph Laloyer in Port Vila last weekend, for two days of discussions to further their Melanesian ties and discuss greater cooperation between the national carriers.

“Joseph is not new to the post of CEO for Air Vanuatu and whilst he has only just returned to that office, we had very useful discussions. It was also a great pleasure to meet in person again, with a dear friend and stalwart in the airline industry,” said Gus Kraus, CEO of Solomon Airlines.

“Solomon Airlines and Air Vanuatu are neighbour national carriers, with similar responsibilities, aspirations, fleet size and workforces. It makes sense for us to work together,” he said.

“This is our first round of discussions, and we will meet again in the near future to map out our longer-term joint aims and to progress to a planned MOU,” he said.

CEO of Air Vanuatu Joseph Laloyer confirmed that in the interim, and subject to approvals by CAAV, Solomon Airlines would provide support pilots for the airline’s domestic fleet.

”In terms of immediate assistance Solomon Airlines has agreed to help tide us over as we seek to employ pilots to fly our Twin Otter aircraft,” Mr Laloyer said.

“The shortage of pilots is an urgent priority for us, as it is affecting our domestic services.

“We thank Solomon Airlines and look forward to that assistance which is planned by the end of this month,” he added.

Mr Kraus and Mr Laloyer also fully supported the position of ASPA (Association of South Pacific Airlines) that regional airline co-operation is key to regional economic gain and to meeting industry challenges ahead. The airline leaders also paid tribute to Mr George Faktaufon, Secretary General of ASPA.

“As George prepares for his retirement, we wish him well and thank him sincerely for his leadership, and significant contribution to aviation development in the Pacific region, for over 30 years.”

Source: Press Release