Solomon Airlines


Solomon Airlines

Infobox Airline
airline = Solomon Airlines

logo_size = 100
| fleet_size = 6
| destinations = 29
| IATA = IE
| ICAO = SOL
| callsign = SOLOMON
| company_slogan = Discover something completely different
| founded = 1962
| headquarters = Honiara, Solomon Islands
| key_people = Captain Ron Sumsum (CEO)
| hubs = Honiara International Airport
| website = http://www.solomonairlines.com.au/

Solomon Airlines is the national airline of the Solomon Islands [ [http://www.flysolomons.com/about.htm About Us - Solomon Airlines - Solomon Islands National Airline ] ] .

History

Solomon Airlines was established in 1962 as a charter airline by Laurie Crowley. Crowley had been flying around Papua New Guinea when he started to fly charter flights on a single Piper Aztec plane to the Solomons. Since no commercial aircraft was based at the Solomon Islands, Crowley decided to start an airline and called it Megapode Airlines.

After Macair of Papua New Guinea decided to buy off "Megapode" in 1968, they decided to change the airline's name to Solomon Islands Airways, although most of the public knew the airline by the acronym of SOLAIR. Macair had bought Megapode it had become a regular flights one. Under Macair, SOLAIR became the smallest international airline in the world, serving the island of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, with a total of two Doves and two Beech Barons.

In 1975, Macair and SOLAIR were bought off by Talair, and in 1976, the airline received nine Beech Queen Air 80 airplanes, and the Solomon Islands Government bought 49 percent of the airline's shares and establishing the right to buy the remaining 51 percent by the next five years.

For the next five years, growth was slow but steady. A brand new Fairchild Metro was bought, and services were established to Vanuatu.

In 1984 the Government decided it wanted to buy all of the airline's shares, and two Twin Otters and one Bandeirante plane were leased from Talair. Soon after full Government take-over, the three leased planes were returned. In 1987, the sale of the airline and its assets Pacific Car Rental (a subsidiary of Avis) and tour company Hunts of the Pacific, were completed.

The new ownership was met with skepticism and distrust by airline workers, and many of them would leave their jobs soon, including some on the managerial level. Then, the Government was faced with the task of rebuilding the airline, and it started doing so by investing 2 million dollars to buy two -300 Twin Otters. Soon, a new livery was introduced, and the name was changed to "Solomon Airlines" officially.

A joint venture with Qantas followed, and then Solomon Airlines entered the jet age by leasing a Boeing 737 from Air Pacific. Solomon Airlines and Air Pacific soon also made a joint venture, but when Air Pacific announced in 1989 it was planning to substitute its Boeing 737 with a Boeing 767 to upgrade international services, Solomon Airlines was forced to lease one from another company, and so it decided on leasing a 737 owned by International Lease Finance Corp. Since then, the airline has operated with leased 737s alongside their own turbo-props. In 1999, after civil war broke out in the Solomons, United Nations imposed sanctions severely damaged the airline's international routes, and at one point, the airline was allowed to have only one such route, the one they decided to keep flying being the flight to Brisbane.

Nowadays, Solomon Airlines has apparently battled off the consequences of the Civil War, and it still flies, mainly nearby their area of the Pacific Ocean.

Destinations

Livery

The Solomons livery consists of an overall white fuselage, with a cheatline extending up onto the vertical fin in colors mirroring those of the national flag. The vertical fin is mainly royal blue, with five white stars prominently displayed. The single word "Solomons" is carried above the window line forward, along with the national flag.

Fleet

As of March 2008 the Solomon Airlines fleet includes:

*1 Boeing 737-300
*1 Embraer E-170
*3 De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 300
*1 Britten-Norman Islander

References

External links

* [http://www.solomonairlines.com.au/ Solomon Airlines]
* [http://www.solomonairlines.co.uk Solomon Airlines UK]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.