Solomon Airlines is planning to increase capacity ahead of the 2023 Pacific Games ©Getty Images

Solomon Airlines is seeking to expand its fleet before the 2023 Pacific Games by leasing a second Airbus A320.

When the Solomon Islands becomes the seventh country to host the multi-sport event from November 19 to December 3, Solomon Airlines will experience a surge of additional traffic.

As reported by ch-aviation, the carrier, which celebrated 60 years since its foundation as Megapode Airlines last year, is said to be making fairly significant progress in this endeavour.

Gus Kraus, the Solomon Airlines chief executive, recently told local media that the carrier had signed a letter of intent ahead of lease negotiations.

Solomon Airlines hopes that, by taking on a second Airbus A320, it will be able to fly in a greater proportion of visitors to the 2023 Pacific Games.

These will take place in the city of Honiara, which, as pictured below, is also home to the carrier's headquarters and main operational base, at Honiara International Airport (HIR).

Data from ch-aviation shows that Solomon Airlines' existing fleet is quite old, with an average age of 32.8 years.

Even its sole existing Airbus A320 is relatively senior, being 18 years of age.

But Kraus has said "the purchase will see us having a new modern airplane that is under 10 years old". 

"That's the newest airplane we've got."

The presence of a second Airbus A320 could also benefit Solomon Airlines outside the Games timeframe, offering them greater flexibility in the event, given that its current A320 was taken out of service.

When that happened recently because of a fuel contamination issue, flights had to be cancelled and the carrier had to pay Nauru Airlines to operate charter flights to fulfil its schedule.

The aircraft is set to be taken out of service once again next week for scheduled maintenance, which will see it absent for another two weeks.

The Airbus 320 has the capacity to seat 132 economy and 12 business class passengers.