Repatriation flights

Samoa repatriation flights confirmed for March

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa confirmed these repatriation flights during her official press conference last week.

Cabinet has also approved a repatriation flight from Fiji on 18 March to bring home scholarship students who have completed their studies as well as returning Samoan citizens working in Fiji Tala Fou reports.

Samoa rethinking repatriation flights after positive Covid cases

She said a scheduled repatriation flight from New Zealand on Saturday has already been postponed.

Fiame also confirmed nine passengers who had "close contacts" with the affected passengers are now in managed isolation at the medical facility near the Faleolo International Airport.

The Prime Minister urged her fellow parliamentarians to take the lead in preventive measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Fiame said they can start by wearing face masks when in public places, washing hands and keeping a safe distance.

Samoa progresses on plans for December repatriation flights

However, Cabinet in its meeting last week agreed to reshuffle two flights scheduled for December.

Savali newspaper reports a flight originally scheduled for 27 November from Auckland, New Zealand has been rescheduled to 4 December.

Another flight scheduled for 11 December is rescheduled to 18 December.

In announcing the changes, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa revealed during her weekly press conference last Friday that Cabinet zeroed in on a range of factors to justify the new flight dates,

More repatriation flights announced by Samoa's government

The former Minister responsible for Samoa Airways in the HRPP government has urged the government to put a leased aircraft to use for Covid-19 repatriation flights to save money for taxpayers.

TV1Samoa reports Lautafi Fio Purcell believes that if government uses the aircraft, currently parked in Brisbane, it would save millions and start paying for itself.

He was speaking after the government announced the 11 repatriation flights during the months of November and December.

Samoa reschedules repatriation flights from New Zealand and Australia

Flights will now take place from the middle of November through into December.

The government had responded to a request for a delay from the National Emergency Operation Centre, which is tasked with co-ordinating and monitoring the flights.


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Samoa govt considers delaying some repatriation flights

"This request came in after the Cabinet meeting and so we are moving to circulate a confirmation paper so we can move on this matter," Fiame said.

The Chairman of the Emergency Committee, Agafili Shem Leo, told a media conference that quarantine sights are getting congested, and with the quarantine period increasing to 21 days, there is a need to slow down the frequency of repatriation flights.

The sudden addition of 70 people to quarantine after a man escaped from quarantine on Tuesday this week is also causing some issues in accommodating them.

Repatriation from NZ to Samoa remain on hold

Prime Minister of Samoa, Fiame Naomi Maatafa said the government continues to monitor the situation in New Zealand to help make safer decisions.

“We also had an update from our NEOC committee who have advised the continuation of the proclamation of the emergency orders, the current order takes us to the 29th of August so the next period is until the 30th of August towards the 26th of September,” she said.

PNG hits out at India over broken agreement and unauthorised arrivals

PNG's National Pandemic Response Controller and Police Commissioner, David Manning, alleges India's High Commission in Port Moresby deliberately participated in a deception that resulted in the unauthorised arrivals.

Manning said India broke an agreement on how many passengers were approved for the repatriation flight.

According to him, the proposed repatriation flight from India had been rejected four times due to the risk of Covid-infected arrivals from India

Covid-19 tests return negative for Samoa repatriates

The first flight on 5 February had five deportees from the United States.

At a press conference this week, Director General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri said the deportees completed their 21 days mandatory quarantine period on 26 February.

Savali Newspaper reports they had their Covid-19 tests on the day of their arrival and on their last day of quarantine period.

Most of the deportees received their Covid-19 vaccinations in the United States prior to travelling to Samoa.

Another flight on 13 February brought 60 people from Fiji.

Samoa consolidates repatriation flights

However, the Chair of the National Emergency Operations Center, Agafili Shem Leo, says a smaller flight will replace the services previously scheduled for for 26 March and 17 April.

TV1Samoa reported Agafili saying the new flight will be operated by Fiji Airways and will fly direct from Los Angeles to Samoa via Nadi.

He says a smaller plane will be used as there are less than 50 returning patients who have completed medical treatment overseas.