Solomon Airline: answers please! - Solomon Star News

Solomon Airline: answers please!

22 April 2015

MAY we repeat it again!

Solomon Airlines board and management owe this nation an explanation as to why it suddenly sacked chief pilot Gibson Galo and demoted its chief engineer Trevor Palmer.

The decision may be an internal company matter.

But it only fuel speculation as to the future of this State-Owned Enterprise.

Already rumours and speculations are rife.

On social media, where the issue has taken centre stage, there were claims the sacking was part of chief executive officer Ron Sumsum’s move to privatize the national career.

Others assert it was a ploy orchestrated by Mr Sumsum, whose contract reportedly expired on 17 April 2015, to retain his job.

Mr Sumsum is also reported to have demoted the airline’s chief engineer.

All these, according to social media commentators, are part of Mr Sumsum’s grand scheme of things to make it difficult for the government to remove him.

A Solomon Star request for a face-to-face interview with Mr Sumsum has been turned down.

Instead, the company late yesterday issued a two-paragraph unsigned media statement that reads:

“The Board of Directors of Solomon Airlines Limited maintains it support for the CEO, his Management Team and Airline Staff in all matters relating to the management of safety within flight operations. The Board affirms that safety is our most important goal and will not be compromised.

“In case of any doubts, the Board assures the public that the Airline continues to operate as normal in full compliance of all relevant rules and regulations and with the approval of the Civil Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands.”

The statement has failed to provide the explanation we are seeking from the airline regarding its latest decision.

The wall of silence built around the national carrier is truly astounding. Sadly, it is not doing any good for the airline.

Rather, it only deepens public suspicions as to the administration of this SOE and its future as a national carrier that Solomon Islanders could be proud of.

This is not the kind of management we expect from a publicly listed company in this day and age.

Solomon Islanders may not hold personal shares within the company, but through their government, they have a stake in Solomon Airlines.

It is therefore incumbent of the board and management to explain and clarify issues pertaining to their decisions to the public.

Since the airline’s board and management decided to do things their own way, we demand the government to seek answers from the company regarding the latest sacking.

The government just cannot stand aside and watch the foreign dominated Solomon Airlines management treat local workers with contempt.