Aiyaz out of context: Solomon Airlines
The Solomon Airlines rejects accusations of sabotage from Fiji Attorney General Aiyaz Sayad Khaiyum.
Solomon Airlines has rejected claims by Fiji's Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum that it has been sabotaging negotiations to resolve an impasse that has meant no direct flights between the two countries since July.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum's comments refer to the break down in negotiations between the Solomon Islands and Fijian governments and Fiji Airways in Suva last month.
He said an offer by Fiji to resume flights under the previous air service agreement was rejected by the Solomon Islands government.
Solomon Airlines Commercial Services Manager, Gus Kraus, told Koroi Hawkins that they were not part of that meeting and he understands the Solomons government rejected the offer because it wanted more time to look into it.
GUS KRAUS: I think that's a little bit taken out of context, I think that, from what I understand, I wasn't at the Fiji meeting, it was believed to be between government to government but we hear that Fiji Airways was a major part of that meeting delegation in Fiji and at the end of the day it was still left to an impasse situation. That I believe that the government of Solomons indicated to the team in Fiji that not to sign the agreement because they really wanted to see what was involved with the agreement and that's a matter for government, that's not a matter for the airline. We were not involved in the meeting and really the translation of it is that we understand that there is to be a major air service discussion between the two countries in late January and we are hoping that they can find a medium to ensure that services are returned to normalcy.
KOROI HAWKINS: At the moment there is zero connections between Solomon Islands and Fiji still?
GK: Well that, there is, I mean all the passengers that are moving between Fiji and Solomons are mostly going via Vanuatu and of course Fiji Airways and Air Vanuatu are gaining a lot of benefit from that and of course we bring them home to the Solomons. Now those that have visas may pivot via Brisbane. But of course at the additional expense of the Australian Visa and the inconvenience I think most people are taking the Vanuatu connection. But also there are discussion I believe between PNG and Fiji to alleviate some of the Traffic by trying to mount services for pick up rights between Honiara and Nadi that is still in discussion phase I am not sure what the eventual outcome will be but we believe that, there's some discussions going on with regards to that and of course we got to be mindful that this impasse cannot continue and Solomon Airlines and I am sure the Solomon Governments are looking for some way forward to maintain that business and (inaudible) and students economic benefits between the two countries. And so there must be an outcome of fairness and you know equitability that both countries and both airlines prosper with. So that's all we are after.
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