At the close of an eventful year for Solomon Airlines, a period which has seen the advent of a new Sydney service, a new direct Nadi service and the signing of a code share agreement with Qantas, Solomon Airlines CEO, Ron Sumsum has said the time has come for the airline to move to the next platform.
Addressing close on 30 Solomon Airlines local and overseas management and staff attending the “Solomon Airlines – Next Platform’ sales and marketing conference at the Heritage Park Hotel, Captain Sumsum said the airline was ready to take the next steps to develop a product truly representative of both the national carrier and the Solomon Islands.
Captain Sumsum said a main focus for the airline going forward would be on partnerships.
“Partnerships make a company stronger and Solomon Airlines will be looking to forge new partnerships with other airlines as well as the Solomon Islands government.
“We want to work and walk together,” he said.
Staff training, retention of current business and finding new sources of business would also play key roles as the airline moves into 2016, the CEO said.
From the perspective of fleet management, the CEO advised a decision has now been taken to keep the flagship Airbus A320 and considerable funds will be allocated for upgrades.
“These upgrades are essential for us to have an aircraft which fully complies with Australian aviation compliance,” he said.
Turning to route development, Captain Sumsum said future planning would be looking at the possibility of a daily Sydney service, increased frequency on the Honiara-Nadi route and also the advent of a service in Papua New Guinea.
On the domestic front the airline was also keen to recommence flights into the Malaitan ports of Auki and Parasi and review development of Manaaoba as the next major port development once land rights issues had been resolved.
“Now is the time for the airline to take the next steps to develop a product truly representative of both the national carrier and the Solomon Islands,” he said.