A powerful Solomon airlines' board consist of Hou and Hughes named.
Respected current and former governors of the Central Bank of the Solomon Islands were amongst those appointed by Finance Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo. The new board is chaired by the bank’s governor Rick Hou, who was recently invited to give a keynote address to the region’s finance ministers.
Mr Hou is joined on it by Tony Hughes, of Gizo, a former governor and now a leading regional consultant on economic and business issues. Mr Lilo also named businessman Austin Holmes, lawyer Billy Titiulu, and former airline chief executive Gideon Zoloveke Jr to the board.
This board replaces a board named just last week to replace a board dismissed by Mr Lilo.
There were concerns that some of the board named last week had potential conflicts of interest. This is because of the businesses they are involved in. Mr Lilo said the new members are trusted, high quality individuals, with a capacity to make an outstanding contribution.
“This shows the Government’s commitment to good governance in our state-owned enterprises,” he said. “And it shows my commitment to getting the best outcome for aviation in Solomon Islands. “I have told the new board to immediately get on with the business of improving the financial performance of Solomon Airlines. “And I have told them that I expect improved results sooner rather than later.”
Mr Lilo has said he will wait till he gets the results of a review into the operations of the airline before he decides on the fate of its leased 76-seat Embraer 170 jet.
The airline has had problems because of limits on passenger and cargo capacity on the E-170 services linking Honiara with Santo, Brisbane and Nadi. Mr Lilo has also said the airline is under pressure because of previous questionable financial management and difficulties with Australia over rights.
He has accused Australia of blocking what are known as Fifth Freedom Rights for the airline. These would allow it to carry passengers freely between Brisbane and Santo.
Mr Lilo said this route was to be a key part of the strategy for using the E-170.
Vanuatu had welcomed the service. But Mr Lilo said Australia was blocking the rights Solomon Airlines needs and was doing so for political reasons.
Rick Hou is the Governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands. Tony Hughes is a former Governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands. Austin Holmes is the Deputy Chairman of the National Provident Fund and is a director on the board of Home Finance Ltd. Billy Titiulu is a lawyer with Pacific Lawyers. Gideon Zoloveke Jr. is a former CEO of Solomon Airlines.
Source: Solomon Star