THE Parliamentary Opposition Group has welcomed the Open Skies Agreement signed between the Republic of China (ROC) Taiwan and Solomon Islands on Friday last week.
The agreement was signed between Taiwan’s Transportation and Communications Minister Ho Chen Tan and Minister of Communication & Aviation Peter Shanel.
“The Opposition Office welcomes the agreement as it will boost trading and commercial activities between Taiwan and Solomon Islands,” the Opposition Office stated in a statement yesterday.
The Parliamentary Opposition Office, however, wants the Minister of Communication and Aviation to provide more information about the agreement.
“More information is needed as to when flights will start, what are the likely fare charges; will it be competitive or not and which airlines will service the route.
“Such information’s are important for the benefit of public knowledge,” the Opposition Office stated.
Moreover, the Opposition Office is also mindful about the viability of the agreement on Solomon Airlines as the service provider.
“Does the Airline have the capacity to maintain regular flights and is the route sustainable?” the Parliamentary Opposition Office questioned.
The Opposition Office added that the Solomon Airlines performance in terms of profit making is an open book, therefore the government must be cautious in its ambition to expand international routes, let alone the proposed direct flights between Solomon Islands and Taiwan.
The statement also added that the government must also start considering improving tourism related services to meet the demand of tourists in the event the Solomons- Taiwan route becomes operational.
“Not only that but opening direct international flights to Asia means that we must seriously consider tightening up our customs and immigration at our airport,” it said.