Tourism Solomons has welcomed the International Air Services Commission’s (IASC) determination allocating passenger capacity to Virgin Australia on its Australia-Solomon Islands route.
As part of the IASC determination, the Australian carrier has been allocated 360 seats per week in each direction between Australia and Honiara.
The renewal is valid for five years from 10 December 2022.
Prior to COVID-enforced border lockdowns, Virgin Australia was operating two flights weekly between Brisbane and Honiara.
These flights, in addition to the five-times weekly Solomon Airlines Honiara-Brisbane services, all played a role in the country achieving a year on year increase in international visitation from 2104 which saw visitor arrivals surpass the 28,000 mark before the onset of the pandemic.
Close on 40 percent of that total emanated from Australia.
Welcoming the ISAC determination, Tourism Solomons’ Head of Sales & Marketing, Fiona Teama said she was hopeful both Solomon Airlines and Virgin Australia would be able to return to their pre-COVID scheduling as soon as the country’s borders reopen.
While the Solomon Islands’ government has yet to advise when the country’s international borders can reopen, Tourism Solomons in partnership with Solomon Airlines and the Ministry of Culture & Tourism has been busy maintaining the highly successful ‘Iumi Tugeda’ domestic holiday initiative.
The program has been instrumental in keeping many local hotels, resorts and operators open for business during the country’s more than two-year lockdown.