The Pago Pago-based carrier, Samoa Air, has filed for bankruptcy protection in a court in Southern California.
According to Samoa Air's CEO, Andre Lavigne, this was to maximize the chance of the airline to return to its service in American Samoa.
He says events of the last few weeks made it clear that the advantage of doing this far outweighed the disadvantages.
Samoa Air stopped flying in September after it failed to acquire another aircraft to replace a single Twin Otter which was due for maintenance.
Mr Lavigne says there is no immediate change to the company and it is still pursuing various options in order to return to service in early 2004.
He says the airline management is working with major creditors and they will receive notice from the courts about the bankruptcy filing.