Samoa govt re-assures about plane availability

Samoa's minister responsible for the country's national airline, Samoa Airways, says there is a "short term" plan to ensure operations run smoothly when the current lease with Iceland Air ends on Monday.

Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell told the Samoa Observer paper that they have reached an agreement with Qantas to handle all flights to and from Sydney and Brisbane.

He did not say what arrangements had been made for the airline's daily New Zealand flights.

Lautafi told the paper there is there is no cause for worry, because there are other aircrafts available to accommodate flights for the short term, while the company works on its long term plans.

The hurried arrangements became necessary after the government blocked the delivery of a Boeing 737 Max 9 for safety reasons after the plane was grounded world-wide following the recent crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 planes.

 Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia. Caption: Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell