Solomon Airlines CEO Fired; Reportedly Responds By Trying To Stop Flights

Sumsum likely to remain on the job until end of the year

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 22, 2016) – The controversial Solomon Airlines chief executive Ron Sumsum has been fired Wednesday this week.

Mr Sumsum from Vanuatu has been in the post for nearly ten years.

Solomon Airlines Limited Board Chairman Austin Holmes while announcing the termination to the executive management team at the airline’s Henderson Airport head offices said general manager operations and commercial, Gus Kraus had been appointed to the role of acting chief executive in the interim period and the carrier will seek to appoint a new full time chief executive.

Holmes advised this process will require approval by the Solomon Islands Civil Aviation, Authority (CAASI) following a thorough review of nominated persons to the “substantive position involved.”

“The implications will have far reaching effects,” added Holmes.

“And this is being worked through by the airline’s executive team with notifications and change processes already underway to ensure the airline complies with all relevant regulations and authorities within the country and with countries that we have approvals to operate to.”

Meanwhile the outgoing Solomon Airlines chief had reportedly attemped to stop aircrafts from taking off at Honiara International airport yesterday.

His action had attracted a lot of criticism from the public on social media after the incident happened.

One member of the public claimed Sumsum was under the influence of alcohol when he committed the alleged incident.

Another member of the public said Sumsum reacted on the situation after he received his official termination letter on Wednesday.

His latest action came after he had shut down all operations in June, resulting in cancellation of all domestic and international flights.

The Solomon Star tried to contact employees of Solomon Airlines and Ministry of Communication and Aviation, but they were tight lipped over the incident.

The airline’s general manager operations &commercial, Gas Kraus told Solomon Star through his senior officer that a press release would be released to the media.

Sumsum was expected to leave the airline by the end of the year, after 10 years on the job.

It’s understood the airline board had extended Captain Sumsum’s contract from last September because they were unable to find a suitable person to replace him.

Captain Sumsum’s current extended contract expires at the end of September, but he is expected to remain with the airline for three months until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition to his successor.

The current board, under the chairmanship of Mr Holmes, is understood to have conducted interviews already for the CEO job.

But they are yet to pick a candidate.

Captain Sumsum has not reapplied.

Attempts to get Sumsum for comments was unsuccessful.

Solomon Star
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