Solomon Airlines yesterday launched a new service between Brisbane and Homiara using an Airbus A330-300.The launch of the new route went ahead despite the non-arrival of the smaller airbus A320-200, which was planned to operate the route. The new A320 aircraft is delayed in France until later this month. To ensure that the new service operated as planned, Solomon Airlines and Strategic Aviation used the A330-300 of Startegic Airlines on the maiden flight into Honiara from Brisbane.
The airbus A330-300 can carry about 287 passengers compared to the A320-200 which can take only 156 passengers. Local news paper reports said:"Solomon Airlines made its mark with the arrival of an Airbus A330-200 at the Honiara International Airport. It’s the second time such an airbus, which has carrying capacity of 280 passengers, to land at the Honiara International Airport. Last December a similar airbus was chartered by the Ministry of Education to transport about 280 students studying at various institution in Fiji back to Honiara for their end year vacation.
Close to 200 passengers made the inaugral flight from Brisbane into Honiara with much excitement. While a number of the passengers are locals most of the passengers are foreigners who are mainly tourists or those on business trips." Prior to making its landing the airbus circled above Honiara as part of its launch here with hundreds of people witnessing the huge jet slowly making its way to the airport.
The size of the airbus nearly outsizes the international terminal tarmac and Airline officials had to find a better ladder to reach the height of the jet." The new service will operate three times a week on Monday, Wednesdays, and Friday.