26 Jul 2005

New airline eyes inter-Samoa route

8:44 am on 26 July 2005

South Pacific Express, American Samoa's newest airline is hoping to get federal approval to begin service soon.

The airline's newly-painted Shortz 360 aircraft has been sighted taxiing on the airport tarmac this week.

A Federal Aviation Administration official said a team from Honolulu will be in the territory this week to inspect the aircraft.

Airline official Vince Haleck said an announcement on when they will be able to launch will be made following the FAA inspection.

The Shortz 360 aircraft,which was formerly with Royal Tongan Airlines has been in the territory since December of last year.

South Pacific Express Inc. has already hired pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and reservations staff.

The airline's main market is inter-Samoa travel but it also has plans to fly to neighbouring islands.