28 Nov 2002

American Samoan congressman dismisses airline monopoly claim

2:43 pm on 28 November 2002

The American Samoan congressman Faleomavaega Eni says the lack of US carriers operating to and from Pago Pago is because there is no market for another airline in the territory.

Faleomavaega was responding to claims made by the unsuccessful candidate in last week's run off poll, Fagafaga Daniel Langkilde, that Hawaiian airlines is monopolising air-services between Honolulu and Pago Pago.

Fagafaga hads criticised Faleomavaega, who has been the Congressman for 14 years, for a lack of effort in trying to secure another carrier to bring competition to the market.

Faleomavaega says there is nothing to stop another carrier from flying into Pago Pago, but improving the local tourism industry would help add incentive.

He says he had asked United, Continental, and other major carriers to operate weekly flights to provide competition, but without success.

He says Hawaiian Airlines is providing an essential service that no other US carrier is willing to do, and he says its high fares do not violate aviation laws.