Solomons - Solomon Airlines (IE, Honiara) resumed partial operations on Wednesday, June 8 after sole shareholder, the Solomonian government, issued a letter of guarantee to the carrier's management.

Solomon Airlines operated a one-off Honiara-Brisbane Int'l service on Wednesday which will be followed by a full resumption of both domestic and international operations on Thursday, June 9.

The carrier suspended all operations on Tuesday, June 7 with Chief Executive Officer Ron Sumsum citing a liquidity crunch brought on by government's unsettled arrears. That figure has now been set at between SBD15-18 million Solomon dollars (USD1.9-2.3 million).

Government has, however, responded angrily to Sumsum's allegations claiming it has always met its financial obligations to the airline and that any financial difficulties fall squarely on his shoulders.

“Government has met all of its financial commitments to the airline, including full payments for fares and provision of Community Service Obligations payments," a Ministry of Finance and Treasury spokesman said. "Solomon Airlines is the only state-owned enterprise (SOE) for which government has written-off many debts and injected capital over the years and yet it is still in a difficult financial situation."

It also lambasted the CEO for his decision to ground all flights labeling them as irresponsible.

“The Government considers Captain Sumsum’s unilateral action as irresponsible. He has jeopardized the reputation of the airline and inconvenienced many travelers."

The government has now pushed for Sumsum's removal and says it is working with the carrier's newly appointed board of directors and Chairman to finalize the recruitment of a new CEO.