Solomon Airlines’ repatriation flight IE663 took off from Brisbane Airport at 1.13pm today with 74 passengers pleased to be heading home to the Solomon Islands from throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Among the Solomon Islands citizens on board were about 20 passengers returning from New Zealand and passengers who had connected from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Canberra to Brisbane, including seasonal workers.
Processing of the flight went smoothly including Queensland Department of Health mandatory screening of all passengers and crew.
The Brisbane-Honiara service was the first of several flights this week to be operated with the approval of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji Governments. The flight from Brisbane landed in Honiara at 5:07pm. On arrival, all passengers will be required to go into quarantine for a period of 28 days at a Government approved facility in Honiara.
The Airbus A320 will then be fully cleaned and sterilised and will overnight in Honiara before operating tomorrow to Port Vila and Nadi.
On Wednesday 27 May Solomon Airlines Flight IE664 from Honiara to Port Vila will depart at 09.00 arriving in Port Vila at 11.00, returning home approved Ni-Vanuatu citizens. On arrival in Port Vila, approved Fiji citizens will remain on-board the aircraft.
Due to Government restrictions, only Honiara-bound Solomon Islands citizens will be uplifted in Port Vila. The aircraft will then operate between Port Vila and Nadi, carrying approved Fiji citizens home, landing at 14.15.
In Nadi only approved Solomon Islands citizens will board the aircraft for Solomon Airlines Flight IE665 from Nadi to Honiara departing at 15.15 arriving in Honiara at 17.15. The flight will then continue as IE667 departing Honiara at 18.00 arriving in Brisbane at 20.15.
Solomon Airlines has advised that all flights will fully comply with COVID-19 regulations in accordance with the requirements of the relevant countries. Social distancing will be monitored throughout check-in and boarding processes, and seating will be allocated to allow for spacing as far as possible.
Solomon Airlines crew will wear facemasks and gloves for the duration of service and catering will be minimal to reduce contact between passengers and crew.