THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) wishes to correct some errors in a news article published by the Island Sun newspaper on Wednesday 16th April 2015 regarding the Solomon Islands-Fiji Air Services Agreement.
A statement from the Ministry said the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to implement the 1990 Air Services Agreement (ASA) signed in 2010 was made at a time when Solomon Islands has no aircraft to operate international services.
The MOU was signed on the understanding that it will be reviewed annually and also as and when Solomon Islands has its own airline operating to Fiji.
During the airlines impasse between Solomon Islands and Fiji in 2014, internal consultations with stakeholders that includes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, the Solomon Islands High Commission to Fiji, the Ministry of Communication and Aviation, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, the Attorney General Chambers and the Solomon Airlines were held to discuss issues relating to the MOU and also to find ways to resolve the impasse.
The Ministry said the joint communiqué signed on 12th January 2015 between Solomon Islands and Fiji was to lift the flight impasse to ensure that the designated airlines of both countries resume flights based on the 2010 MOU.
While both airlines resume their flights in January 2015 as agreed in the joint communiqué, officials from both countries including the two airlines are to undertake consultations on matters relating to air services between both countries.
“The government, through the Ministry of Communication and Aviation, with the support of other key stakeholders, is currently working on the review of the air services agreement with Fiji with the aim of ensuring that it is reciprocal and at the same time it serves and protect the interest of the country,” the statement said.