AROUND 30 passengers from the Solomon Islands booked to travel on Air Niugini for Nadi, Fiji were stopped from travelling to Fiji yesterday.
The passengers purchase code chairs from Solomon Airlines in the Air Niugini aircraft which runs a Honiara-Nadi route.
Reports reaching the Solomon Star stated that Fiji Aviation informed Solomon Islands Aviation that their entry in Fiji will be disallowed by the Fiji Immigration.
Permanent Secretary of Aviation, Francis Lomo when contacted told Solomon Star that the 30 passengers were disallowed to board the flight because they purchase tickets from the Solomon Airlines chairs on Air Niugini.
“Well to put the record straight, the refusal of entry is not for Solomon Islands passport holders but any passenger from Honiara including foreigners who purchase any of the code chairs or Solomon Airlines 30 seats in Air Niugini,” Mr Lomo explained.
He said Air Niugini will continue the Honiara-Nadi service but those intending to enter Fiji must not purchase the Solomon Airlines seats on the aircraft.
“It is not a thing to do with Solomon Islands pass port holders as was rumoured.”
He added that regarding the stand-off, consultation will soon be strike.
“We’ve just received report from our Solomon Islands High Commissioner is Fiji that he has held consultation with the Fiji Aviation on proposals for our Solomon Islands officials to go over to Fiji and have talks to solve the issue.
“We are awaiting a date to travel for the consultation,” he said.
The row between Fiji and Solomon Islands Aviations has resulted in the suspension of all international flights between Fiji and Solomon Islands operated by Fiji Airways and Solomon Airlines since last week.
Fijian authorities initially denied Solomon Airlines from landing in Nadi.
Reacting to that, the Civil Aviation Authorities of Solomon Islands (CAASI) also issued a flight ban to Fiji Airways from entering Solomon Islands.
By STEPHEN DIISANGO