New CEO sought for Solomon Airlines

6:21 am on 8 June 2016

The Solomon Islands government says Solomon Airlines CEO Ron Sumsum is to blame for the airline's perilous financial situation and it says it is looking for a new chief.

The state-owned airline shutdown its operations on Tuesday, grounding all its planes and suspending ground services.

Captain Sumsum earlier said the shutdown was due to the the government's failure to pay millions of dollars in arrears.

A statement from the Ministry of Finance and Treasury said the government considers Captain Sumsum's unilateral action irresponsible and said he had jeapardised the airline's reputation.

It said the government had met all its financial commitments to the airline and had written off many bad debts and injected capital over the years.

It said it was working to finalise the recruitment of a new CEO and expected flights to resume within the next 24 hours.

"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," said the statement.

"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."

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