Minister denies reports

Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Selafi Purcell has dismissed claims the Samoa Airways has applied for a $12 million tala loan with a local bank. 

“As per your query about a loan from the bank by Samoa Airways; there is no there is no truth in that,” said the Minister.

Last week, the Samoa Observer visited the Chief Executive Officer, Seiuli Alvin Tuala for comments on the reports  of a loan he referred all queries to the Minister Lautafi and the Chairman of the Board, Fe’esago Siaosi Fepulea’i. 

When the Samoa Observer approached Fe’esago, he referred all queries to the C.E.O. 

“The C.E.O. should be the one to answer all your questions and I don’t understand why he continues to avoid you,” said the Chairman. 

Last month Fe’esago told the Samoa Observer that when the Airline needs financial assistant they will turn to the Government. 

“They are the shareholder, but we have never asked them to put money in and we are still using Samoa Airways funds. 

“They guaranteed the loan with U.T.O.S. for $15 million and so we’re going to need more money given the circumstances,” he said.

In the meantime, Lautafi did not address questions from the Samoa Observer on the status of the $15 million tala loan from the United Trust Fund of Samoa (U.T.O.S.). 

This loan was received last year and the Government is the co-signor as reported earlier by the Chairman of the Samoa Airways, Fe’esago Siaosi Fepulea’i. 

According to public accounts from the financial years 2015-2017 Samoa Airways have paid loans to U.T.O.S. 

For financial year 2015, Samoa Airways paid $12.6 million and in Financial Year 2016, another $9.6 million was paid to U.T.O.S.  

The financial report further says that in the Financial Year 2017, Samoa Airways paid out $6.3 million. 

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