THE unresolved current flight impasse affecting air services between Fiji and Solomon Islands over the past six weeks is costly and must be resolved soon prompting calls for urgent dialogue.
Dr Transform Aqorau who heads the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) based in Majuro in Marshall Islands in an interview with the Solomon Star in Suva, Fiji late last week said the impasse should be dragged too long.
He said as a Solomon Islander, he was really concern about the impact it had on the travelling public and the business people.
Dr Aqorau said although its a commercial decision made by authorities, at the end of the day its the ordinary travellers and business people who are really affected by the problem.
“Failing to resolve this problem shows lack of competency to resolve the problem for the good of the travelling public and trade between the two countries.
“Because the more this problem drags on, the more difficulty it is to resolve the problem.
“And in the end it has an economic cost to both the travellers, business people and the trading activities, giving them additional costs,” he said.
He pointed out that Fiji is the get way to other island countries which cannot be avoided and therefore its important to resolve the issue.
He added that if the problem is not solved it would also affect local students who supposed to return to home at the end of the year.
He appealed to diplomats and the ministry responsible to resolve the impasse because it would also have an impact on the relationship between two countries.
“These two countries have long cordial relationship dating back many years ago. The longer it takes to resolve the more it would impact on this relationship especially the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).”
The flight impasse has caused so much fear amongst the local students studying here in Fiji.
Speaking to the paper some of the students expressed their concern over the flight saga.
Most of the students travelled on Solomon Airlines ticket through scheduled and chartered flights.
With three more months left before the 2014 academic year concludes in December, the students are also appealing to both governments to step in and resolved the impasse.
Its understood, talks are still ongoing between the two civil aviation authorities but with no solutions at this stage.
By MOFFAT MAMU
In Suva, FIJI