Samoa Airways

Tuilaepa concerned about plane lease cancellation

He said he is concerned about how easy it was for the FAST government to cancel the lease and incur 180 million tālā in penalty costs.

Tuilaepa blames FAST's reliance on the advice of former Attorney-General Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu.

The senior lawyer said in a report that the leasing of the plane breached company rules because it was insolvent.

In announcing the cancellation of the lease last week, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa said the company was bankrupt and the best thing to do was to cancel the lease and look at a full audit of it's operations.

Samoa Airways seeks funds for airworthiness of plane


Leatinuu Wayne Sooialo says Samoa Airways is asking the Unit Trust of Samoa for $6million tālā (US$2.3million) to continue the checks so the plane can be allowed to operate commercially.

Leatinu'u was reacting to claims by the former Minister for Private Enterprises, Lautafi Fio Purcell, that the airline could be making money by utilising the plane to operate the many repatriation flights being operated by QANTAS, Air New Zealand and Fiji Airways.

Samoa Airways financial woes under investigation

The Minister of Public Enterprises, Leatinu'u Wayne So'oialo, is chairing a special Cabinet committee looking into Samoa Airways' failure to produce annual financial statements.

A report by the Ministry of Public Enterprises last month showed losses of more than US$14-million (37-million tālā) over the last two financial years after the global pandemic closed borders.

The Samoa Observer reports Leatinu'u saying some necessary action will be taken in due course.

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.