Solomons Government Condemns Shutdown Of Solomon Airlines

Disputes claim by CEO that lack of support resulted in operational issues at airline

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, June 7, 2016) – The Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Treasury as Ministry accountable and responsible for Solomon Airlines, condemns the action of its Chief Executive Officer, Captain Ron Sumsum to shut down Solomon Airlines today and halt all flights for both domestic and international service.

This had led to other Airlines operating from Brisbane, Nadi and Port Moresby suspending their flights to Honiara due to non-attendance of ground and handling services at Honiara International Airport.

In a statement issued late this evening, the Ministry of Finance and Treasury says the Government considers Captain Sumsum’s unilateral action as ‘irresponsible’.

He has jeopardized the reputation of the airline and inconvenienced many travellers.

[PIR editor's note: On June 8, 2016 RNZI reported that 'The Solomon Islands government says Solomon Airlines CEO Ron Sumsum is to blame for the airline's perilous financial situation and it says it is looking for a new chief.']

The Government says it has met all of its financial commitments to the airline, including full payments for fares and provision of Community Service Obligations payments adding, the perilous financial situation of the airline falls squarely at the feet of Captain Sumsum.

The statement adds Solomon Airlines is the only state-owned enterprise (SOE) for which government has written-off many debts and injected capital over the years and yet it is still in a difficult financial situation.

It adds, the safety of the travelling public is of paramount importance to the Government.

Solomon Airlines is our national carrier and provides a vital service linking the provinces to Honiara, and Honiara to the rest of the world.

The Government is taking steps to address the current situation with Solomon Airlines.

The Government is also working closely with Civil Aviation Authority and the newly appointed board of directors to finalize the recruitment of a new CEO for Solomon Airlines.

The Government advises the general public that the current situation under which services for domestic and international are halted should be resolved, with flights resuming, within the next 24 hours.

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation
Copyright © 2016 SIBC. All Rights Reserved

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