The Government of Solomon Islands and the Government of the Republic of Fiji yesterday resolved the air row between the two countries.
Following fruitful discussion of issues pertaining to air services between the two countries, Fiji and Solomon Islands have agreed, with immediate effect, to lift the suspension of air services between the two countries and to allow the designated airlines of both countries to resume air services.
The Agreement was signed by Hon Milner Tozaka, Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade and Supervising Minister for Aviation and Communications, and Hon Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney General and Minister of Civil Aviation of Fiji.
Both countries have agreed that Air services between the two countries will continue to be undertaken in accordance with the 1990 Air Services Agreement and a 2010 Memorandum of Understanding currently in place between the two countries.
Under the ASA and MOU, the designated airlines, Solomon Airlines and Fiji Airways, are entitled to operate a total of three (3) flights per week without the need for any additional approval.
Solomon Islands and Fiji have agreed that, with immediate effect, Solomon Airlines will operate one weekly flight between Honiara and Nadi (departing Honiara on Saturday and departing Nadi on Sunday), and if this flight makes a stopover in Port Vila, then it shall not have any fifth freedom rights between Port Vila and Nadi, both directions.
The countries have agreed that Fiji Airways will operate one weekly direct flight between Nadi and Honiara, departing Nadi and Honiara on the same day, and one weekly flight departing Nadi and Honiara via Port Vila with full fight freedom rights between Port Vila and Honiara.
Solomon Islands government has agreed that Fiji Airways will operate a direct flight between Honiara and Nadi on Saturdays at the time slot already filled by Fiji Airways.
Any additional flights between the two countries shall be pursuant to the ASA and MOU. In this case, charter flights between Solomon Islands and Fiji will be permitted under separate arrangements.
Both countries have agreed to encourage their respective airlines to enter into such commercial negotiations at the time either airlines deem fit, and to resume the air services between the two countries at a date either airlines deem appropriate.
The delegation from Solomon Islands comprised Hon Milner Tozaka, Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade and Minister responsible for Aviation, PS Beraki Jino, Attorney General Billy Titiulu, Solicitor-General Savenaca Banuve, HE, Mr John Patteson Oti, Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Fiji and George Satu, Director Civil Aviation.
– PM’s press secretariat