Heavy lift

Regional airlines ink flight deal

TWO of the region’s smaller airlines have signed a deal which will link three regional destinations and a metropolitan business centre. The deal between Air Kiribati and Solomon Airlines will see a new service linking Tarawa in Kiribati with the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara.

The flight will begin in Brisbane, Australia and hop to Honiara before going through the major international hub at Fiji’s Nadi International Airport for the northern leg to Tarawa. Kiribati Minister for Transport and Tourism Development, Willie Tokataake, said the collaboration was important in its capacity to significantly boosts aviation access into his country.

“There is no doubt this new agreement will boost economic development opportunities and in particular tourism and export opportunities for Kiribati,” the minister said. Fiji Airways and Our Airline also offer services through Kiribati’s Bonriki International Airport using Boeing 737 aircraft.

Solomon Airlines is likely to use its Airbus A320 on the new service flying passengers and freight into the tiny atoll state. Tourism operators and fishing companies have in the past called for increased services to and from Kiribati in order to grow these two important industries. 

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