Samoa Observer

Qantas to resume flights to Samoa next month

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Qantas to resume flights to Samoa next month

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 22 July 2022, 10:00PM

Qantas has announced flights between Australia and Samoa every Tuesday throughout August and September this year.

The announcement was made by the Australian High Commission in Samoa in a statement, which says the flights will be operated "under Australia's Pacific Flights Programme."

The statement also urged Samoans residing in Australia to use the airline's website to book their flights once Samoa's borders fully open up in August this year.

A visit to the links provided will show you the Qantas notice and invitation to book your flight, which departs from Sydney, and travels to Apia via Brisbane.

Furthermore, those who are planning to travel to Samoa have been asked to ensure they comply with all the airline and the Government of Samoa's travel requirements before take-off. 

"Travelling has changed, and you may need to do a little more planning and preparation before take-off. Ensure you check and comply with all airline and government travel requirements before arriving at the airport," the airline stated. 

"Travel to Samoa from Australia is only approved for Samoan citizens, permit holders and approved contracted workers. Ensure you comply with the information outlined in the Government of Samoa’s  

"Before booking and before departure, ensure you check the latest Government of SamoaOpens external site and Samoa Ministry of HealthOpens external site websites, plus the AustralianOpens external site government conditions for travel, including any applicable Australian state government restrictions and requirements, which may include mandatory travel and health declarations, COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, use of face masks, and immigration and entry requirements (which may include renewing your passport, or applying for a visa), or you could be denied entry. This information is subject to change and we recommend you check these websites frequently for any updates.

"Some countries have restrictions around transiting. If you're transiting via another country or onto another international flight, ensure you check the requirements of your transiting and destination country to ensure their Government allows you to transit.

"If your itinerary includes travel with another airline, or Qantas codeshare flights which are operated by another airline on their aircraft, you'll need to contact them directly to understand and meet their requirements."

Last month, Qantas Airways Limited applied to Samoa's Ministry for Works Transport and Infrastructure to fly two routes between two Australian east coast cities and Samoa.  

The Samoa Observer understand that the application had been approved by Ministry of Aviation and had been asked to submit schedule for flight services for approval and that they can only start operating once Samoa's borders open up on the 1st of August. 

Qantas made its intention known to renew its Air Service Licence (A.S.L.) to operate scheduled flights from Australia to Samoa and Samoa to Australia in a public notice issued last month. 

The Australian flag carrier has a “principal place of business in Australia and representatives in Apia Samoa” that gave notice for to apply for the A.S.L. licence to the Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure. 

“Qantas proposes the launch direct services from Brisbane and Sydney to Apia with additional frequencies and city-pairs to be added,” the notice published in the Samoa Observer this week states. 

“Written objections concerning the application may be made to the Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure within 14 days from the date of publication of this notice.” 

Since January this year Qantas Airways aircraft have been flying to the Faleolo International Airport as part of charter flights to uplift seasonal workers contracted to work in Australia. 

Virgin Australia is the other airline that is currently servicing the same route to Australia with an application to renew it’s A.S.L. licence approved earlier this year. 

Air services provided by foreign airlines is currently the only option available to Samoan travellers when the borders reopen in August after the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) Government terminated a Samoa Airways lease of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. 

Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa made it clear that the decision to abandon the lease is due to the mounting financial expenditure incurred by the national carrier during the pandemic as well as its inappropriate timing. 

In a recent interview, Fiame said the ceasing of the lease did not mean there is no air transport for travelers and pointed to international airlines flying into and out of the country. 

“Even without a plane there are options available for people to travel and that is most important,” she said.

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 22 July 2022, 10:00PM
Samoa Observer

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