SI, Kiribati ink air service deal


SOLOMON Airlines will soon extend its service to Tarawa, Kiribati.
In association with Air Kiribati, a spokesperson from Solomon Airlines said steps were already in place in preparation for the commencement of the new route.
“This new service will commence as soon as ‘visa-on-arrival’ procedures for Kiribati passport holders has been approved by the Solomon Islands Government,” Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Communication and Aviation Moses Virivolomo said.
The announcement comes as Solomon Islands and Kiribati agree on a new air service agreement.
Under the terms of the new Air Service Agreement (ASA), Solomon Airlines and Air Kiribati including the two countries’ Civil Aviation Authorities will cooperate to promote aviation as one sector.
The two countries will also collaborate on a raft of activities intended to contribute to both countries’ social and economic development.
A senior Kiribati delegation visited the country last week after months of negotiations, and held a series of meeting which resulted in the successful inking of the agreement.
The Kiribati-Solomon Islands ASA marks the fourth such similar agreement Solomon Airlines has signed with aviation partners in the last 18 months.
In May 2015 Solomon Airlines joined resources with fellow Melanesian airlines Air Niugini and Air Vanuatu to combine resources with the Solomon Islands national carrier to jointly develop and promote partnership in regional aviation services.
In October 2015, Solomon Airlines signed a watershed codeshare agreement with Qantas Airways.
This was followed in November 2015 with the signing of a further official ASA with the Republic of Vanuatu.
While in Honiara, the Kiribati delegation also held meetings with the office of Solomon Islands Maritime and Shipping, the intention being to reach an agreement which will see Honiara become a pivotal and strategic partner to expand shipping to and from the Republic of Kiribati.