Samoa Airways flies through measles shutdown

The two-day countrywide shutdown did not stop Samoa Airways from conducting flights this week as many passengers at Fagali'i Airport awaited take off during Thursday's shutdown.

All civil aviation services are exempt from the orders of the shut down, and will continue to operate flights at Faleolo and Fagalii airports.

According to an announcement by Samoa Airways, all passengers who are currently stranded in Savaii due to the inter-island travel ban will have all flight costs and fees waived at this time.

A Samoa Airways representative stated that they must provide essential services to the public while also complying with Government orders and that everything is ‘business as usual’.

Customers at Fagalii airport could be seen waiting with some apprehension about their travell plans due to the measles epidemic.

“I arrived here yesterday to do a visa interview.” said passenger Lina Faafetai. 

“The Government orders completely shut everything down. So I think we came at the wrong time.”

Ms. Faafetai says that she has had difficulties trying to contact her family as there was no one allowed on the roads at this time. She was supposed to leave tomorrow but says she doesn’t wish to stay any longer.

“Everything is at a standstill and right now it’s just pointless, so we might as well head back," she said. 

Ms. Faafetai said that other passengers with the same problem had recently bought their flights back home to Pago Pago together.

“I feel the community should really take an ear to what is being advised, and get vaccinated so that there isn’t another epidemic like this,” she said.

Samoa Airways will continue to fly passengers for the next two days, with an emphasis on those who simply wish to get home safely.

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