15 Jul 2014

Solomons and Fiji in flights fight

7:17 am on 15 July 2014

A war of words has broken out between the the Fiji and Solomon Islands governments in a dispute over aviation rights.

Both countries have suspended the other's flights between Honiara and Nadi.

A Fiji Airways plane

A Fiji Airways plane Photo: Supplied

Amelia Langford reports.

"In a statement, the Solomon Islands Government says it is suspending Fiji Airways flights to and from Honiara because Fiji authorities denied the entry of a Solomon Airlines flight to Nadi over the weekend. Its director of Civil Aviation, George Satu, says Fiji Airways earlier applied to operate a second service to Solomon Islands beginning in July but the Solomons' regulator could not approve the service due to space and timing. He says the government has been very obliging with most, if not all, of the Fiji government's requests in regards to aviation rights. However the Fiji Government has also put out a statement, in which it says the responsibility lies with Solomon Islands. It says the Solomon Island Government has refused to allow two Fiji Airways direct flights from Nadi to Honiara to take place over the past two weekends and Fiji had no choice but to respond in kind."