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-National flag carrier Solomon Airlines will lose SBD$45 million (US$5.6 million)this year as COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect their operations.
This was revealed by Solomon Airlines senior board member Bob Pollard during the 2021 Appropriation Bill 2021 inquiry on Tuesday.
The inquiry was conducted by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to scrutinise the Government Budget of $3,905,951,360.00(US$490,784,620.02 ) which ended on Wednesday.
“This is a huge challenge for our airline and this year alone will be very tough in terms of our finance,” Pollard told PAC.
Its understood that last year the Government injected SBD$20 million(US$2.5 million) to salvage Solomon Airlines when the pandemic’s impact was at its peak.
That’s when the government closed its international borders and grounded all international flights.
At the moment Pollard said Solomon Airlines only go ahead with approved repatriation flights and charters.
This paper also understands that the A320 Airbus recently continue flying a weekly cargo flight between Brisbane and Honiara as well as operating very limited and strictly controlled repatriation flights to bring people home to Solomon Islands.
“With the fixed cost of USD$195,000 remain our revenue will continue to suffer,” Colin Sigimanu Commercial Manager for Solomon Airlines told PAC.
Meanwhile, Pollard said they will continue to seek Government assistance as the financial challenge continues for the airlines.
“We need support from the government,” he added.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
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