Honiara, Solomon Islands – Hard on the heels of commencing a significant codeshare agreement with Qantas Airways, Solomon Airlines has now officially validated a tripartite codeshare agreement with fellow Melanesian carriers Air Niugini and Air Vanuatu.
Initially announced in principle last February, the watershed agreement confirming the codeshare was officially signed by the heads of all three carriers at the bi-annual Association of South Pacific Airlines (ASPA) AGM taking place in Brisbane.
Under the terms of the accord, Solomon Airlines will be in position to buy seats from Air Niugini on its four weekly flights from Port Moresby to Honiara and vice versa.
The codeshare also extends to a weekly Port Vila service which Solomon Airlines will codeshare with Air Vanuatu as well as the PNG national carrier.
Solomon Airlines CEO, Captain Ron Sumsum said a reservations system required for the service had already been tested with flying colours and all three carriers were in position to commence operation of the new service by 01 January 2016 "if not sooner."
This will enable passengers travelling on these routes to book and pay for flights at competitive rates.
"The benefits to the Melanesian region with all three airlines working in unison are a major boost for the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) mandate and will play a key role in further promoting MSG ideals," Captain Sumsum said.
His comment was echoed by the Secretary General of ASPA, Mr George Faktaufon who cited this example of working together, partnering in association and entering into commercial agreement as one of the fundamental ideals promoted by his organisation.
Accompanying image - Hand in hand in Melanesian unity (from left) , Air Vanuatu CEO, Joseph Laloyer, Air Niugini CEO and ASPA chairman, Simon Foo and Solomon Airlines CEO, Captain Ron Sumsum.