SOLOMON Airlines took a major step this week with the launch of its new and direct route to and from Sydney, Australia.
The flight leaves Honiara on Mondays, returning the next day.
There are several reasons why this direct route is important for Solomon Airlines, Solomon Islands, and Australia.
Firstly, Sydney is the commercial hub of Australia. It is where the Australian corporate world is centred.
Certain Australian business people and investors operating in the country have had their headquarters in Sydney. This new route offers easy travel to business reps, investors, and citizens of both countries living and working in Sydney.
They no longer have to travel to Brisbane to board a plane and from the Solomons.
Secondly, the new flight is also expected to boost the country’s efforts to bring in more overseas tourists.
This was widely alluded to by the minister responsible for tourism Bartholomew Parapolo, chairman of Solomon Airlines board Denton Rarawa, and chief executive officer of Solomom Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB), Josefa Tuamoto.
They all agreed, during cocktail organised to mark this milestone at Sydney International Airport on Monday night, that the direct Honiara-Sydney route augers well with the government policy to further develop the country’s tourism industry.
Australia is the major market for Solomon Islands tourism.
So opening up a second route offers potential Australian tourists to either fly in from Brisbane or Sydney.
Not only that, Sydney also provides direct connection to the Solomon Islands for potential Asian and European tourists.
And thirdly, this new route will definitely benefit ordinary travellers of both countries who want to visit friends and families.
Previously, citizens of both countries have to travel via Brisbane to their respective destinations.
What needs to be done now is to continue promote and build on this new route to ensure we capture as many tourists as possible from the larger markets of the world.
A big congratulation to all who’ve worked on the initiative and bringing it to fruition Monday this week.
This is an opportunity for all.