Solomon Airlines prepares for int'l border opening from July
The Solomon Islands' national carrier, Solomon Airlines, has adjusted its domestic schedule to prepare for the future booking demand ahead of the full border reopening from July 1.
The airline said on Monday that its latest domestic schedule will be effective from June 6 to prepare for inbound connections from the service of Australia's Brisbane to the Solomon Islands' capital Honiara.
The airline will also ensure the ability to add capacity to domestic routes such as Munda, Gizo, Auki and Santa Cruz, where the booking demand has already increased. Weekly Tuesday flights between Honiara and Fiji's Nadi are also expected to be re-established.
This move came after the Solomon Islands government announced the reopening of the country's borders and easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions. From July 1, foreign nationals wishing to enter the country no longer have to apply for exemption, although a short quarantine period of three days is "likely" to be retained after the arrival.
"It will enable us to reconfigure our schedule to serve local demand and prepare for more international visitors," said Solomon Airlines CEO Brett Gebers.
"While the ongoing mandatory quarantine period for international arrivals remains a deterrent to inbound tourism, we understand that these restrictions will be progressively relaxed and believe we will still see enough early international travellers coming to Solomon Islands to sustain our twice-weekly Brisbane-Honiara services until all restrictions are removed in the next few months," he said.
Under the current COVID-19 restrictions, only travellers who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination are allowed to enter the country, except for children that cannot be vaccinated. Passengers are required to produce a negative result of COVID-19 PCR test taken in 72 hours before arrival.
A medically supervised Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) will also need to be conducted within 12 hours of departure, with proof of a negative test result required prior to being approved for boarding.