Air Niugini launches flight
AIR Niugini has started operating a direct return service between Honiara and Nadi.
The service began on Christmas Eve, using its Boeing 737 aircraft.
Fiji-based Discount Flight Centre, general sales agents (GSA) for Air Niugini, managing director Sashi Singh said the service is in line with the current Air Service Agreement between Solomon Islands/Papua New and Fiji/PNG.
“Air Niugini, in the interest of the travelling public, has taken this decision in light of the lack of direct services between the two countries and advised Fiji Airways and Solomon Airlines,” Mr Sing told the Fiji Sun newspaper yesterday.
The agreement, Mr Singh noted, is only subject to mid-week service while the Friday/Saturday and Sunday/Monday will remain as the current with no rights on this sector.
“The first flight began on Christmas Eve and will continue weekly.
“The flight will be operated on the airline’s Boeing 737 aircraft,” he said.
The new service comes at a time when Fiji and Solomon Islands are still trying to resolve the impasse between their national airlines.
The saga, which began in July, occurred when Solomon Islands authorities refused a request from Fiji Airways for a direct Saturday flight Nadi-Honiara-Nadi.
Fiji claimed Solomon Islands was breaching an agreement covering this and retaliated by cancelling all existing Solomon Airlines flights to Nadi.
Fiji Airways was operating a Tuesday schedule Nadi-Port Vila-Honiara-Port Vila-Nadi when the sag started.
No Solomon Airlines official was immediately available last night to comment on this new service.
By EDDIE OSIFELO