Passengers flying on Samoa Airways Inaugural Flight OL-731 to Auckland this morning checked and boarded their flight like any ordinary day.
Except today wasn't just an ordinary day.
As flight OL-731 ascended into the sky the significance of the moment was not lost to Samoans on board.
Looking over Upolu from a birds eye view, passengers instinctly broke out in song, singing "Faafetai" together in harmony and lifting everyone's spirits, including our new national carrier aircraft as it continued to climb high into the clouds before Upolu was gone from our view.
When Flight OL-731 landed at Auckland airport, the aircraft and her passengers were treated to a water salute organised by Auckland airport.
Cheers erupted as the ground staff stopped to take pictures of Samoa Airways arrival into New Zealand soil.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, Minister of Samoa Airways, Lautafi Purcell, Chairperson Fe’esago Siaosi Fepulea'i and C.E.O. Seiuli Alvin Tuala were officially welcomed with a powhiri and were received by C.E.O. of Auckland Airport, Adrian Littlewood and Labour MPs Carmel Sepuloni and Andrew Little.