"Mechanical issues" cancels Samoa Airways flights
Samoa Airways cancelled flights to and from Sydney on Thursday this week due to the maintenance of the aircraft it is using.
The cancellation was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of Samoa Airways, Tupuivao Seiuli Tuala, who said the airline's top priority is the safety of the travelling public.
“The cancellation was brought about by the delay in the aircraft making the Sydney Airport curfew after undergoing repairs,” Tupuivao said in a press statement.
“The principal cause of disruption was due to mechanical issues experienced when the aircraft landed in Apia on Thursday evening.
“The issues were identified and repaired but unfortunately the aircraft couldn’t make the 11 p.m. curfew at Sydney Airport.
“Consequently we had no choice but to cancel flights OL855 and OL856.”
The C.E.O. assured passengers affected the Samoa Airways staff are working hard to accommodate their customers and minimise further disruption to their travel plans.
“Samoa Airways regrets disruption to customers affected by the flight cancellations last night and we apologise for the inconvenience caused to their travel plans,” he said.
“Passengers in Apia and Sydney were accommodated in hotels for the inconvenience and we will also be working hard to accommodate passengers with alternative travel arrangements over the next two to three days.”
Frustrated customers expressed their dismay at the late notification from the airline and the uncertain responses given by the customer care phone line in Australia.
One of them is Cheryl Chong Wong who was scheduled to leave Sydney on Thursday for Apia.
Ms. Chong Wong said she was disappointed that a staff did not come out to inform other travelers already at the airport about the cancellation.
She said while others received notifications on email there were still people waiting to get checked in and were not aware of the changes.
It was only an hour later that the passengers were told of the changes, she added.
“We are still waiting for customer care to answer the phone and update us on which flight we will take out of Sydney,” said Ms. Chong Wong.
Another traveler, Jo Jedi, said he contacted the customer care line but wasn’t helpful and could not give a specific answer.