American emergency charter booked

The emergency repatriation flight for American citizens out of Samoa has been confirmed for Wednesday 8 April, in what may be the last chance for the remaining foreign nationals to leave the country.

The United States Embassy in Samoa confirmed the State Department charter flight with Omni Air International is currently scheduled to leave on Wednesday evening and will stop in Honolulu in the early hours of the morning.

Bad weather had previously postponed the flight, which had been intended to leave on Monday. 

Residents of Hawaii will be allowed to disembark in Honolulu, other U.S. citizens will transfer to another plane and the Australian citizens will continue on the same flight to Brisbane.

Chargé d’Affaires Sarah Nelson said 140 people will be leaving on the flight: 50 U.S. citizens and 90 citizens from Australia, the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the European Union (E.U.), who will be able to travel to their home countries from San Francisco. 

David Ward, High Commissioner of Britain to Samoa confirmed 19 U.K. or E.U. citizens had reserved spaces on the flight. With commercial flights available between the U.S. and Europe, their respective governments will not need to help them get home. 

A further 50 Australian citizens and residents have been assisted to get to Brisbane through Honolulu, and onwards from there after a two week quarantine period. 

People with high temperatures, coughs or shortness of breath within 72 hours of the flight will not be allowed to board.

It will be the second emergency flight out of Faleolo International Airport this week, after 136 missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints were recalled by the church last week.

They departed on a Fiji Airways charter flight on Monday morning.

Last week Samoa Airways flight taking 35 Japanese nationals and 51 Australians left Samoa for Sydney. 


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