Samoa Airways

Samoa Airways cancels some Auckland flights after Boeing 737 Max grounding

The airline had been leasing an older generation 737 from Europe to perform its flights - but the lease has expired. Samoa Airways was due to lease a new 737 Max 9 in late March. However, the airline has announced it has cancelled its lease in the wake of two fatal crashes and the global grounding of the Boeing aircraft.

Samoa Airways is now scrambling to find another plane to operate its international flights.

Samoa Airways leases 737-800NG, awaits regulatory approval to operate

‘The 737-800NG is the same aircraft type that our Italian operator, NEOS used for Samoa Airways flights from November 2017. It is has a proven record and is operated by many airlines around the world’, stated Samoa Airways’ CEO Tupuivao Seiuli Alvin Tuala.

The Malindo Air 737-800NG aircraft is 3 years old and features 150 Economy Class seats with personal TVs, and 12 seats in Business Class with a generous 45-inch pitch, leg-rest and adjustable footrest, an 11.1-inch touchscreen inflight entertainment monitor, as well as AC and dual USB ports.

Samoa Airways signs MOU with Air Lease Corporation for new Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft

Scheduled for delivery in late March, the aircraft, which will be delivered direct from Boeing in Seattle Washington, will replace the National Carrier’s existing 737-800.

The MOU was signed by the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Samoa Airways Chairman Feesago Siaosi Fepuleai and ALC Executive Chairman Steven Hazy.

Samoa Airways Apia-Sydney flight diverted to Canberra

The airline said the unforeseen diversion took place while customers with confirmed bookings on the return flight (OL856) from Sydney to Apia were being processed through check-in and departure formalities.

Whilst flight OL855 was eventually able to operate from Canberra to Sydney Saturday night, it did so after 11:00pm local time meaning that the Sydney Airport curfew would be a factor.

Samoa Airways operates extra flights during festive season

According to CEO Tupuivao Seiuli Alvin Tuala, ‘demand for travel to Samoa during this time of the year is traditionally very strong and in response, the national carrier has operated a number of additional services.

Seiuli added that, ‘Christmas is about family and we are thrilled to have played a key role in uniting loved ones this Festive Season’.

Feds grant Samoa Airways longer exemption for Manu’a flights

An amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorisation Act of 2018, introduced by Congresswoman Aumua Amata, and signed into law last month by U.S President Donald Trump, promotes improved air service in American Samoa, by allowing foreign carriers to apply to operate domestic flights, as well as seek renewal for a cabotage waiver, for six months instead of the previous 30-days.

With the new law, Samoa Airways late last month sought continued cabotage waivers and this time, from Nov. 9, 2018 through Feb. 11, 2019.

Samoa Airways new Brisbane route – a sign of great things to come

Starting on 13 November Samoa Airways will fly to Brisbane, adding to its list of destinations which already include Auckland, Sydney, Pago Pago, Fagalii and Apia.

The new route will be launched as part of the airline’s one year anniversary after it was re-launched as Samoa Airways, one year ago. 

Samoa Airways plans a second plane

The airline currently has one aircraft and Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi is confident the dream of a second plane will come true.

“We have already discussed and know that the Brisbane route will soon open and also there are other routes in Melbourne, Wellington to Tonga which the committee is working on.”

“We have also discussed that an airplane is available for Samoa leading us to a dream come true because truth be told, we should have two airplanes flying in our country assisting one another in terms of accidents,” Tuilaepa said.

Punialavaa and Samoa Airways – flying the Samoan flag with pride

For starters, both are ambassadors for Samoa, carrying the Samoan flag wherever they go.

Punialavaa does this by the Samoan music they produce which is enjoyed by many all over the world, and Samoa Airways does this by literally flying the Samoan flag from one destination to another. 

Another parallel can be drawn from national pride – both Punialavaa and Samoa Airways definitely stir up those feelings for many. 

There definitely seems to be a surge of patriotism every time a Punialavaa song plays, or when it comes to Samoa Airways. 

Samoa Airways to fly to Brisbane, its latest route

Just a few months shy of its one-year anniversary, the national carrier has announced that (subject to regulatory approval) it will fly direct between Apia and Brisbane, twice weekly, on Tuesday and Sunday, using its 737-800 aircraft. 

The launch flight is scheduled to take off on November 13th to mark one year since Samoa Airways took to the skies.

It’s the latest milestone in the airline’s short history, and one which promises great potential.