25 May 2016

Samoa tourism chief calls on government to get airline going

8:27 am on 25 May 2016

The Samoa Tourism Authority is pushing its government to resurrect the former international flight schedule of its national carrier, Polynesian Airlines.

The CEO was speaking at a World Bank event in Sydney and said access had been the biggest issue for Samoa since Polynesian Airlines stopped flying to New Zealand, Australia and other Pacific locations.

Since 2011 Samoa had operated flights with Polynesian Blue, a joint-venture between Virgin Airlines and the Samoan government.

Polynesian airlines, Samoa

Polynesian airlines, Samoa Photo: Supplied

After frustrations with scheduling and pricing, the government made the call last year to re-start Polynesian Airlines flights to New Zealand using a Solomon Airlines Airbus, but deferred the move after being warned about the risks.

Papali'i Sonja Hunter made the call for other carriers to come and work with Samoa.

"There are many other options where the other traditional airlines have patronised our country for a long time," she said.

"Whether we need now to say to government 'c'mon guys' we just have to take our own destination into our own hands. We have to set up what we had before."

Last year the Samoan Prime Minister invited Airlines PNG to land at Samoa's Faleolo Airport.

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