19 Jul 2017

Samoa PM says Virgin and Air NZ awoken by national carrier

10:10 am on 19 July 2017

Samoa's prime minister has accused Virgin Australia of restricting flights between Australia and Samoa to increase air fares.

Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi told local Radio 2AP that this is the reason why Virgin was only flying twice a week to Samoa.

A joint venture between Virgin and Samoa concludes in November but Virgin has belatedly applied to fly five flights per week from Australia.

Meanwhile, Tuilaepa said that Air New Zealand is looking at more flights to Samoa using their bigger 777 aircraft.

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Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

He said it showed that both Virgin and Air New Zealand were scrambling, and it could have a lot to do with Samoa's intention to re-launch its national carrier.

Tuilaepa said from the start Virgin maintained there was no demand for more than two flights a week from Australia.

The Prime Minister said his government would play a vital role in Virgin's application and it would be stupid "to say yes again and again."

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