20 May 2013

Solomon Airlines seeks government subsidy for alternative transport with airport closure

6:40 am on 20 May 2013

The head of Solomon Airlines says the company hopes the government will help fund alternative transport when Gizo Airport is closed for upgrades.

Gizo Airport, in Western Province, will close for three months from May the 26th while the runway undergoes rehabilitation work, with funding through the New Zealand aid programme.

The general manager of Solomon Airlines, Gus Kraus, says flights to Gizo will terminate at the main airport, Munda, so he expects boats will be used to shuttle travellers between the two locations.

"We're still talking to government about looking for a subsidy about identifying a contracted boat operator with the safety equipment and insurance on board and then we'll try to contract that boat carrier for the three month duration to and from Gizo."

Gus Kraus says about 4000 travellers may be affected by the closure of Gizo airport and the airline expects to lose some business.