Flights will begin on Thursday next week in time for the Easter holidays as the General Election which will be held on 9 April.
In a statement, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Seiuli Alvin Tuala said the decision to recommence flights to Asau after a 6 year hiatus is the outcome of many discussions with partners Samoa Tourism Authority, the Savaii Samoa Tourism Association (SSTA) and the Samoa Hotels Association (SHA) who have pushed for services.
“The launch of flight services to Asau helps support the growing demand for more convenient travel options between the Upolu and Savaii.”
Seiuli said “It is also a way to build support for local businesses and establish a route to the western end of Savaii which will ultimately benefit our international visitors once borders re-open.”
He added “It’s is encouraging to see that the drive to re-open flights to Asau is coming from local tourism operators because it’s not easy to establish a new route which is why it’s crucial we work closely with our partners in the industry and continue to work towards continued growth in the local tourism industry.”
A test flight to Asau was conducted recently.
The CEO for Samoa Tourism, Faamatuainu Lenatai Suifua, said the decision to launch flights to Asau Airport in April is intended to take advantage of the peak season when locals will be travelling for the Easter weekend and General Elections.
“The demand for travel options will be high especially in April which gives us an opportune time to work together not only to enable more flight routes but find ways to sustain long term flight services to Savaii destinations ” said Faamatuainu.
“Locals will appreciate the convenience of travelling to the far west end of Savaii in less than 20 minutes and this will also help address bottlenecks at the ferry terminal created by travellers heading back to Upolu on Mondays. Re-introducing flight services from Apia to Asau will cut travelling time by several hours, cater for weekend travel and promote longer stays in Savaii.”
In addition to the new route to Asau, flights to Maota have also been scheduled.