Samoa Airways’ new aircraft home soon
Preparations are underway to fly Samoa Airways’ new Boeing 737-800 into the country soon.
This was revealed by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.
Speaking on his weekly televised programme on commercial station TV3 on Wednesday, Tuilaepa said "preparations are underway to bring the plane into the country."
The leased aircraft was spotted earlier this month by an avid plane photographer at its temporary home the Woensdrecht Air Base in the Netherlands.
The Prime Minister said the Government will use it upon its arrival in Samoa and this could include repatriation flights for citizens stranded abroad.
“And if we want to bring our students that are in Fiji, at the time being we’d have to charter, but if we have our own plane, it can fly over to Fiji to pick up our children attending school there,” he said.
Tuilaepa said the good news is that the various COVID-19 vaccination trials are almost done and upon their mass production will open the door to Samoa getting the vaccines.
“At the same time that our plans are aligned together with our partners, who will assist us in shipping our vaccines and only then the [state of emergency orders] will be lifted,” he said.
“And also if the [COVID-19] vaccination is ready for usage our [Boeing] can fly to uplift our vaccinations, not only for us but also for our neighboring islands in the Pacific, and in return we can generate revenue.”
The new Boeing 737-800 has seen Flickr user, Ralph Hamaker, share four shots of a shiny new Samoa Airways aircraft, one with the 737-800 in flight, showing the name Samoa emblazoned along the belly of the plane.
The new decals are much the same as on the last plane, with a few new additions. The tail sports the traditional patterns in grey seen on the airline's offices and the nose of the plane is bright blue. The plane’s name: Manuma.
Photos show the plane’s registration is 2-BTTB, and registration details reveal it is six years old, completed in 2014 at Boeing’s plant in Renton, which is currently under consideration for closure. It has changed hands four times before agreeing to a lease arrangement with Samoa Airways.