Airlines juggle limitations
Air New Zealand are having their one and only return flight this week on Tuesday, the airline has confirmed.
The state of emergency declared last week Friday, 20 March included stopping flights to Tonga and Fiji and allowing only one return flight to New Zealand for Samoa Airways and Air New Zealand each.
Air New Zealand Public Affairs spokesperson, Anna Cross, confirmed that, for this week, the carrier’s one return service from Auckland to Samoa will be on Tuesday, March 24.
“Flight NZ6054, from Auckland to Apia will depart at 9.15am local time; NZ6055 will be departing Apia for Auckland at 3.30pm local time," she said.
The Air New Zealand Samoa office at the Lotemau Center in Apia was noticeably packed on Monday with customers either wanting to grab a seat on the earliest flight out.
Air New Zealand is expected to make another announcement on their next flight.
The national carrier, Samoa Airways, has booked all passengers from a cancelled Monday 23 March flight onto the Sunday 22 March flight, according to an online advisory.
The advisory said the flight on the 23rd of this March had been cancelled due to a new state of emergency directive.
"For all passengers booked on the Monday 23 March, 2020 flight – you are now re-booked on the Sunday 22 March 2020 flight,” the advisory said.
Contacted for a comment on when another flight from the airline should be expected, a Samoa Airways' media spokesperson, Liz Ah Hi, said the airline was awaiting confirmation.
Ms. Ah Hi said she did not believe that the Sunday flight counted as the sole flight for the carrier this week.
Although the airline expects that a change in restrictions may be made anytime, as they have in the past month, the spokeswoman said.
"I believe the Sunday one doesn't count, [however] as you have seen with these Cabinet meetings, [anything] can change at any given time," she said.
"[For your information], [New Zealand] P.M. Ardern has just announced a lock down in 48 [hours] so that changes things again."
All flights between Samoa and Australia have been suspended as part of the state of emergency orders.
The orders are in force for two weeks, ending April 2, 2020