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, Tuesday 7th June, 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 today, the Ministry of Finance and Treasury said, “The Government considers Captain Sumsum’s unilateral action as irresponsible. He has jeopardized the reputation of the airline and inconvenienced many travelers.
“Government has met all of its financial commitments to the airline, including full payments for fares and provision of Community Service Obligations payments. The perilous financial situation of the airline falls squarely at the feet of Captain Sumsum.
“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.
“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.
“Government intends to ensure Solomon Airlines continues to fly and provide a safe air service to the travelling public. Government remains committed to supporting Solomon Airlines in its operations and assisting the Chairman and Board to create a stronger airline.
“Government is taking steps to address the current situation with Solomon Airlines. 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.
“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.”