New airbus in operation - Solomon Star News

New airbus in operation

09 March 2020

Following the arrival of the Solomon Airlines’ new Airbus A320 at the Honiara International airport over the weekend, the aircraft dubbed ‘Spirit of Solomon’ is now into full service.

On Saturday it left Brisbane, Australia at 9am, transiting through Munda in Western Province before heading to Honiara.

Upon its arrival in Munda, reports reaching the paper said the aircraft also received a showery welcome from the two fire trucks which sprayed over the aircraft as it made its way to the terminal.

A good number of people were at hand to witness its arrival and admire the new look aircraft. 

The airbus used to serve New Zealand Airway before being acquired by Solomon Airlines.

Minister for Culture & Tourism Bartholomew Parapolo also accompanied the aircraft on its maiden voyage to Honiara.

He also acknowledged the new aircraft and the benefit it would bring to the tourism industry in the country.

Solomon Airlines Corporate Manager Bill Tyson said the arrival of the ‘Spirit of Solomons’ is symbolic in many ways.

“It signifies progress at our national carrier and the collective visions of our government, our industry partners and our company working together to create new economic opportunities,” he said. 

He stated that on its first commercial flight, the aircraft has carried approximately 100 passengers from Brisbane and Munda to Honiara.

He stated that whenever it travels, it will fly the national flag representing Solomon Island throughout the region.

Minister for Finance & Treasury Harry Kuma also spoke highly of the arrival of the new aircraft.

In his remarks, Mr. Kuma said the national government will continue to support Solomon Airlines in the airline industry as it welcomes the new aircraft.

The aircraft will conduct its maiden flight to other regional destinations in Nadi, Port Vila, and Tarawa in the coming days.

The airbus offers two classes on board.

This includes all leather, midnight blue seating comprising 12 Business Class seats in a 2x2 seat configuration and 132 Economy Class seats in a 3x3 seat layout.

Solomon Airlines Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brett Gebers early last month said the new A320 is symbolic of the importance of international air access for the Solomon Islands.

“International services linking the Solomon Islands, near neighbour Pacific destinations and Australia are key to future tourism and economic development in the region and updating our fleet is an utmost priority for us,” he said.

“We are committed to ensuring highest safety standards, comfort, and reliability across our international and domestic services for visitors and for Solomon Islands people,” Mr. Gebers said.

Solomon Airlines will also be updating both its international and domestic fleet.