7 Aug 2006

American Samoa's governor insists that Hawaiian Air lowers fares

1:30 pm on 7 August 2006

The American Samoan governor, Togiola Tulafono, says he will only meet Hawaiian Airlines if the carrier is ready to work with the territory to lower airfares for the Pago Pago-Honolulu route.

On his weekend radio program, the governor dismissed statements that he refused to meet Hawaiian, which says it requested such a meeting in June.

The governor says the matter would have been resolved if Hawaiian Air had listened to his recommendations to do away with excessive fees imposed on American Samoan passengers.

The governor says he does not want to meet to hear Hawaiian trying to justify the reasons for the high air fares, because there is just no justification.

Togiola has already issued an executive order giving Hawaiian Air 90 days to leave this market, a move questioned by the Federal Aviation Administration, which informed the local government that the executive order is a violation of federal laws.

The airline itself continues to maintain that it has the right to fly in and out of American Samoa in accordance with US laws and regulations.