17 Sep 2014

Solomons Govt urged to act over Fiji airline dispute

8:55 pm on 17 September 2014

A former Solomon Islands government minister has called on the Government to intervene in an ongoing airline dispute that he says is costing the country dearly.

Alfred Sasako says only a political move at the highest level will help to find a solution to the increasing tension between the nation's carrier, Solomon Airlines, and Fiji Airways.

In July, Solomon Airlines refused a request from Fiji Airways to send an extra Saturday flight to Honiara.

A Fiji Airways plane

A Fiji Airways plane Photo: Supplied

The Fiji government says the Solomons Government intervened in the negotiations between the airlines, and that Solomon Airlines has breached a commercial agreement.

It responded by disallowing any international flights from Honiara into Fiji, prompting Solomon Airlines to follow suit.

Alfred Sasako says the Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, needs to take the initiative by talking to his Fijian counterpart.

He says the impasse has heavily impacted on citizens of both countries.