GOVERNMENT sponsored students studying at the University of South Pacific and other institutions in Fiji will still travel on charter flights, despite the lifting of the flight suspension between the two countries, Monday.
National Training Unit (NTU) director Clement Tito said the charter arrangement is necessary to allow students to arrive on time for their studies.
Mr Tito said there will be six charter flights to carry the students and they are part of one landing right to be issued by Fiji authority.
He said last year, there were seven charter flights, but the number dropped this year because most of the students remain back after completing their studies.
Mr Tito said the total number of students to travel on the charter flight is not finalised because verification and validation process is still continuing.
He hopes the first charter flight will leave on January 27.
In the meantime, the long drawn airline’s impasse had ended this week after Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Milner Tozaka and Hon Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney General and Minister of Civil Aviation of Fiji signed an agreement in Fiji, Monday.
Both countries agreed to use diplomatic channels to resolve the issue which had started in July last year.
They 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 flights per week without the need for any additional approval.
Meanwhile, the Fiji Airways has confirmed it will begin flights to Solomon Island in March.
By EDDIE OSIFELO