air services

Samoa Airways sends replacement pilots for Manu'a flights to resume

Flights were suspended from Monday of last week after one of the two pilots operating flights to Manu'a tested positive for Covid.

Since the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020 the American Samoa Government has been leasing a Twin Otter with pilots and mechanic support to operate flights to the Manu'a islands.

An airline official in Apia says the delay is because the airline ran short of pilots who are Covid free and/or are still up to date with their flying hours.

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.

Inter-Samoa air traffic soars

RNZ reports the airline is operating three Twin Otter aircraft to service the inter Samoa route as well as flights to Tau and Olosega, Manu'a

The Polynesian station manager in Pago Pago Toe Loia said Apia bound flights are packed while flights to Pago Pago are fairly light.

Some of the travelers are heading to Hawaii and opting to catch the Fiji Airways weekly flight to Honolulu.

Mr Loia advises travelers to be at the airport on time and make sure those needing entry permits to Samoa obtain them form the Samoa Consulate.

Real Tonga hopes to serve Samoa and Fiji routes

The airline recently won the bid to operate the MA60 after a previous lease between the two was terminated in February after the 56-seater plane was grounded.

Real Tonga's chief executive Tevita Palu says the company is now waiting on the government to certify the aircraft but he hopes to use it for international routes.

"There is nothing stopping us from doing that. The aeroplane, the MA60, it was not capable of doing that route before so hopefully this time round the aircraft will be certified to serve those routes."