Samoa Airways aircraft lease remains mystery
Samoa Airways’ plans to lease a new aircraft as early as next month remain shrouded in mystery as the Minister responsible for the airline, Lautafi Fio Purcell, refuses to disclose which airline they are holding leasing negotiations with.
A spokesman for Singapore Airlines confirmed on Friday that they were not in negotiations with Samoa Airways.
The Minister has also flatly denied reports that the national flag carrier was looking at leasing an aircraft from the failed Kingfisher Airline of India.
"No, we are not leasing an airline from Kingfisher Airline in India," Lautafi responded via email.
Kingfisher Airlines was established in 2003 and ceased operations when its license was cancelled in October 2012.
Efforts to get more information on who Samoa Airways may be leasing a plane from have proven fruitless.
Speculation about where Samoa Airways is leasing an aircraft from has been building since the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, confirmed that Samoa Airways may fly into the country by late June.
Lautafi told the Samoa Observer last week, he has "no idea" when we will have a plane.
But those remarks were contradicted by Tuilaepa who earlier this month, in reference to forthcoming Air New Zealand flights to Apia, said: “And this is also why we have decided to fly in our new aircraft around the end of June.”
Tuilaepa said Government considers the next step for the national carrier, he said earlier the Singapore leasing company offered a cheaper lease after the Malindo Air lease expired. Though nothing is set in stone yet.
Another company also in the new lease scope of Samoa Airways is Qantas in Australia, according to Lautafi.
It has been a month since the Government ended its wet-lease with Malindo Air and returned the plane and crew.