17 Jan 2007

American Samoa airlines overwhelmed by passenger numbers

9:47 am on 17 January 2007

The suspension of Inter Island Air Flights on the Pago Pago -Apia route has resulted in long waiting lists for both Polynesian and South Pacific Express incorporated.

A Polynesian staffer said waiting lists for Pago Bound flights were up to 80 passengers at the start of the week at Faleolo International Airport.

He says a large number of travelers were passengers who had bought roundtrip tickets on Inter Island.

Inter Island was purchasing one way tickets on both Polynesian and SPEX to accommodate the stranded passengers.

SPEX operations Manager Roberta Laussen said they are accommodating Inter Island passengers on a space available basis.

She said with so many people returning from vacations in Samoa, and New Zealand, seats on Pago Pago bound flights are all full, even with the additional flights.

Inter Island halted flights on December 31st after the Samoa Government decided not to renew its certificate to fly into Samoa.

Since then the airline has applied to the US Department of Transportation for a certificate to operate scheduled flights as opposed to on demand charters.