Talofa Airways

Samoan airline helps ferry Kiribati MPs to parliament

Before the Covid-19 lockdown, Talofa Airways was flying between Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.

According to the Samoa Observer newspaper, the Clerk of the Kiribati Parliament confirmed the chartered Talofa Airways plane had left Apia on Monday.

It was due to make at least four stops to pick up several MPs before Parliament sat.

Meanwhile 207 Kiribati citizens registered with their government as being stranded overseas and in need of repatriation.

They were registered in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, USA, New Zealand and Taiwan.

Samoa to Wallis air link mooted

But the public broadcaster in the French territory said there had to be a bilateral agreement between France and Samoa first.

The approval process then needs to go through aviation authorities in Paris, who will also check with the airline on safety issues.

The airport in Wallis is only served by New Caledonia's international airline although an agreement exists between Fiji and France, which would allow Fiji Airways to open air links.

There is no need for an air services agreement in the case of charter flights.


Talofa Airways resumes flights after grounding

A statement from the Apia-based airline says scheduled flights to and from American Samoa will commence on Monday Samoa time and Sunday in American Samoa.

Talofa Airways was grounded by the Samoa Civil Aviation Authority following an incident on April 24 with its Turbo Commando aircraft.

The flight from Fagalii to Pago Pago was diverted to Faleolo after the pilot noticed an engine issue.

The brakes overheated and burned after the pilot worked to slow down the engine on landing, according to the airline's CEO Toleafoa Jeffrey Hunter.

Engine trouble led to Talofa Airways suspension

Samoa's civil aviation authorities suspended the Apia-based airline's flights pending an investigation.

Talofa Airways chief executive Toleafoa Jeffrey Hunter said the flight from Fagalii to Pago Pago was diverted to Faleolo after the pilot noticed an engine issue.

The right engine was not responding properly to pilot actions and the plane was diverted so the engine could be checked but would not slow down after landing, Toleafoa said.

"The pilot worked the brakes, just enough to help counter the engine but the brakes overheated and burned," he said.

Talofa Airways flights suspended

The Samoa Civil Aviation Authority suspended flights by the Apia-based company after yesterday's incident.

An airline spokesperson said brake pads overheated after landing and there was smoke.

The spokesperson said passengers were evacuated safely to the terminal and transported to Fagalii Airport.

Passengers were accommodated on Samoa Airways to American Samoa.

The Civil Aviation Authority has suspended services until an expert from NZ arrives to investigate the incident.



Direct Pago-Tonga flights welcomed

For the local Tongan community, the twice weekly flights on Sundays and Thursdays, is a much less burden — especially on the financial side — on having to travel via Samoa and Fiji to get to Tonga.

Using its nine-seater passenger aircraft, Talofa Airways launched Sunday morning its inaugural direct-flight from Pago Pago International Airport to Tonga’s capital of Nuku’alofa.

Talofa Airways launches its inaugural flight to Tonga

Airline spokesman Taua Fatu Tielu says travel between Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa is a nightmare.

Taua said their core customers are Tongan and Samoan travellers between those three locations, including members of expatriate communities there who want to visit home for a short vacation.

He said they would explore Niue, Wallis and Futuna and Pukapuka in the northern Cooks as possible future destinations.


Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia Talofa Airways staff at the launch of the airline  

Talofa flights to Tonga scheduled for this month

The fights will operate on Mondays and Friday from Fagali'i Airport to Tongatapu.

The flights from Pago Pago International Airport in American Samoa will operate on Sundays and Thursdays local time.

RNZi reports the flights come less than a year since Talofa started operations.

In a statement the airline's CEO Toleafoa Jeffrey Hunter said Talofa Airways was now ready to provide the much needed direct air services between Tonga and the two Samoas.

He said it was his hope to expand the service to Niue, Wallis & Futuna and other neighbouring islands.

Pago to Apia to Vava’u a reality for Talofa Airways

The airline’s Chief Executive Officer Toleafoa Captain Jeffrey Hunt confirmed to Samoa News that Talofa Air received their permit for the direct flights last month.

Airfares falling between the Samoas

RNZ reports Talofa Airways will open its ticket office last week and will fly the route six times a day from tomorrow.

American Samoa Visitors Bureau chief executive David Vaeafe said their programme has always been to attract more carriers to help build the economy and tourism.

He said the arrival of Talofa Airways means there will soon be more than a hundred flights a week on the route and the competition with Polynesian Airlines is already benefitting visitors.