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Samoa Airways working hard to deliver new plane

The Minister of Samoa Airways, Lautafi Selafi Purcell, says they are working extremely hard to deliver a new aircraft for the airline and “if that can be done this month so be it”.

Lautafi, who is also the Minister of Public Enterprises, lamented the border closures and restrictions brought about the by coronavirus pandemic.

He dismissed reports that the new aircraft was expected to be delivered this week. 

“Due to new upsurge of Covid in Europe we have had to re-plan the dates for possible delivery,” said the Minister.

The details of those plans will be confirmed once finalised, he added. 

It is understood the aircraft will be leased from Fokker Techniek M.R.O., a leading aircraft maintenance and completion company based in Woensdrecht, the Netherlands.  

The Minister had revealed in Parliament this year that the Government was planning to lease a new Boeing 737-800 from Norway. 

It followed a decision from Government to end a contract with Malaysian Malindo Air in March this year leaving the airline without a plane when the covid-19 pandemic peaked. 

The grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft model globally last year had placed the national airline in a desperate position to find a replacement plane to service the country. 

Following the tragic crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 in March 2019 killing all 157 people onboard the Government had to scrap plans of commissioning its Max 9. 

Since the global grounding of the Max 8 and 9 aircraft model it affected the national carrier with the worldwide shortage of narrow body aircraft as airlines scramble to meet demands. 

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