Samoa Airways

New Samoa Airways Boeing aircraft undergoing safety checks

The Minister responsible for Samoa Airways, Leatinu'u Wayne Sooialo, assured Parliament yesterday that it was only a matter of time before the aircraft arrives in Apia.

Leatinu'u was responding to former Minister Lautafi Selafi Purcell's concern over the delay in bringing over the airline.

Lautafi was the minister responsible for negotiating with the Netherland Government the Boeing 737-800 lease to Samoa, and according to him, everything was ready and it was just a matter of bring the airline home after it went through the final checks in Brisbane, Australia.

Future of Samoa Airways Boeing 737-800 up in the air

The Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, said the previous government did not take the advice from key government stakeholders not to bring in the aircraft because it's the wrong time.

The decision to continue with the move was made after the then caretaker government of the HRPP party had finalised the lease arrangements.

The aircraft is in Brisbane for technical checks and final safety approval before it's flown to Samoa for international service.

Samoa Airways aircraft undertakes technical checks in Brisbane

At a press conference this week. Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said, “We are not quite sure at this point how soon those tests and processes will take place, meanwhile, Cabinet is taking the opportunity to once again reach a clearer understanding of the progress of the Samoa Airways project from its inception to where it is now, and also what future implications there are for government, especially government liabilities or responsibilities in terms of the funding arrangements that have been made.”

“No firm decisions have been made.”

Samoa new jet to touch down in July

The Dutch leasing agency will be deliver the plane to Brisbane on 2 July where it will complete air worthiness certification before Samoa Airways pilots fly it home to Faleolo.

All flight, cabin and ground crew will then undergo a two-week operational training on the new plane.

It's expected the 160 seat aircraft will initially service charter flights between Apia and Brisbane via Nuku'alofa.


Photo file 


Samoa Airways to recommence services to Savaii

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.

Top hotel among Samoan national airline's creditors

The Samoa Observer newspaper reported the outstanding bill was for rooms booked for foreign staff when the Samoa Airways had a "wet lease" arrangement with Malaysia's Malindo Air.

The airline leased a 737-800 aircraft and staff from Malindo last year, in an arrangement that was terminated in April due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Failure to pay the outstanding bill is the latest sign of trouble for the financially stressed airline.

Earlier this week, the Observer obtained financial statements that revealed the airline owed over $US11 million to creditors.

Viability of Samoa Airways queried

Fauo'o, who is running for parliament next year, told the Samoa Observer newspaper that according to the company's annual report 2018-19 it accumulated losses of $US25 million.

The report precedes the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company's CEO Seiuli Alvin Tuala is quoted in the report as having an optimistic outlook about the company's future.

It said the wet lease of its Boeing jet was terminated in March when borders closed.

Samoa Airways postpones Savai’i services

The first service was scheduled to begin today (Saturday).

In a statement, the airline said it is looking to launch the service on Friday, 9 October.

Samoa Airways is also looking at the possibility of additional services for the White Sunday long weekend.


Samoa Airways announce special airfare rates between Upolu and Savaii

Flights between Faleolo and Maota in Salelologa had been previously announced to begin today (Friday).

However, according the airline has taken to social media to announce that the services will now start on 11 September 2020.

Travellers should note, however, that the $89 tala one-way fare is for travel and bookings until 8 October or until seats run out.

Samoa Airways relaunches flights to Savai’i

The service will operate on Mondays and Fridays.

The airline’s CEO Tupuivao Seiuli Alvin Tuala said, "The launch of Savai’i services is to support growing demand for a more convenient travel option to and from the market. It is also a way to build support for local corporate businesses and considering the current pandemic, a way to support local tourism operators with a quick weekend get away from 'Upolu' option.

He also stated, "The service is a good example of our Government’s commitment to improving travel for our own people".