Cabinet makes final decision
Cabinet has decided against ordering any aircraft of the Boeing 737 Max 8 or Max 9 type.
The decision was made during Cabinet's meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said during his weekly media conference.
“Discussions went on for a while on the matter because the safety of the public is paramount,” said Tuilaepa.
“Even though the investigation is not completed into the black box (of the Ethiopia airline crash) but Cabinet has reached its decision to withdraw this aircraft (Boeing 737 Max 9) and find another one that does not have this new technology (Max) despite our men in America being trained in using this new technology but that is the decision made.
“The responsible Minister is now busy with getting into discussions on bringing in another aircraft the (Boeing 737) 800 type that we have at the moment (national carrier) which has no problems.”
In terms of the ongoing investigation into the black box of the Ethiopian airline, Tuilaepa said the Government cannot sit around.
“We don’t know yet when the investigation will be done,” said Tuilaepa.
“We cannot wait then the clock is ticking and we have a lease that will end next month. It is already expensive to lease aircrafts with most of it being grounded due to the incident. So the company (Samoa Airways) is trying to have an extension to the lease because this is the time that these lease companies make money.”
The Prime Minister added the government is also looking at neighbouring countries like New Zealand and Australia for assistance.