Samoa Airways talks with Singapore company and Qantas
The Minister of Samoa Airways, Lautafi Fio Purcell, has confirmed negotiations with a company in Singapore, as well Qantas in Australia, as the Government considers the next step for the national carrier.
Without an aircraft after the Government ended the lease with Malindo Air, returned the plane and crew last week, the Minister said a Singapore leasing company has offered a cheaper lease.
He could not divulge the name of the company or the details of the discussions. But he said the Government is also looking at the possibility of using a Qantas aircraft while they iron out details with the Singapore Company.
Lautafi emphasised that all these plans depend on when the border closures will be lifted.
Earlier this year, plans were revealed about Samoa Airways flying to Hawai’i by the end of the year.
“The Hawai’i [proposed route] and Fiji [route] was planned that Fiji would still operate it but we co-share in it,” said the Minister.
“All these things are dependent on after what happens [COVID-19] on how it goes.
“If it wasn’t for this we were planning to fly to Hawaii in December but now everything is on hold, in limbo until it all settles and [reconsider] whether we fly again or not.”
A $1 million tala that is part of the Government’s relief fund for coronavirus was earmarked for Samoa Airways to pay for its outstanding expenses to local businesses.
Lautafi had said the assistance would pay for urgent outstanding bills.