SKYAIRWORLD TO BEGIN HONIARA-BRISBANE SERVICE

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By Ednal Palmer

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 28, 2008) - A SkyAirWorld representative will be in the Solomon Islands today to officially launch the air fares of its new Brisbane-Honiara-Brisbane service, an informed source said.

The official launching of the fares comes as SkyAirWorld begins selling tickets for flights, which begin operating on 3 March.

SkyAirWorld will fly the route five times a week. It is expected to use a modern Embraer 190 jet in head-to-head competition with Solomon Airlines and Our Airline.

Some flights are also expected to be operated by the airline’s smaller E170.

Brisbane-based SkyAirWorld is expanding rapidly. It and Indonesia’s Lion Air have just formed a new joint venture, Lion Air Australia. They are expected to introduce Boeing 737-900ER jets into Australian routes later this year.

AGENTS

In Honiara, SkyAirWorld’s local reservation and ticketing agents are Pacifika Travel Centre at the King Solomon Hotel.

Pacifika Travel Centre staff early this month got extensive reservation and ticketing training from SkyAirWorld.

SkyAirWorld head of services Simon Siganto earlier said that they would launch with cheaper fares than currently available on the route.

SkyAirWorld is operating here as an Australian carrier under the Australia-Solomon Islands bilateral air services agreement.

CLASS

Mr Siganto said that the new E190 jet is a luxurious plane that has a dual class (10 x Premium Economy and 84 x Economy) seating configuration.

SkyAirWorld also operates a smaller new E170 jet (8 x Premium Economy,68 x Economy).

The airline highlights that seating on its E-jets is four-abreast (2 x 2) meaning no one is in a middle seat.

The E170 was leased last year by Solomon Airlines for its international services.

But it was later grounded amidst a dispute between the airlines.

SkyAirWorld said Solomon Airlines had not met lease payments. Solomon Airlines said the plane was not providing the capacity it had expected on its international routes.

Solomon Airlines has since been using another Australian airline, OzJet, to operate most flights on the Brisbane route using a Boeing 737-200.

Solomon Airlines has also operated some services with Air Vanuatu’s Boeing 737-300, which is about to be replaced by a bigger and newer Boeing 737-800.

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