The airline will take out a bank loan to compensate staff made redundant.
Samoa’s Minister for Public Enterprises, Leatinu’u Wayne So’oialo, said that the loan will be used to compensate staff for the national airline who found themselves without work in 2021 as the pandemic, and firm border restrictions, led to limited operations.
However, the redundancy payment will only be paid out to staff backdating to 2021 and not those affected in 2020.
Samoa Announce Re-opening of Airport
With Samoa’s borders reopening to the world at the start of August, Samoa Airways will be looking re-establish flight paths across the Pacific region. So the Samoan government announced they will additionally be reopening the Fagali’i Airport, located in the Islands capital Apia, which had previously ceased operations in 2019 when they moved all operations to the Faleolo International Airport.
“At the moment, there are limited [non-scheduled] flights operating from Faleolo. Hopefully, with the reopening of Fagali’i, we will have two to three flights to assist our people in travelling,” Minister So’oialo said.
Fagali’i Airport would be used to connect flights between the Island and neighbouring US territory, American Samoa
Minister of Transport Olo Fiti Vaai stated that preparatory works on Fagali’i were already underway and that a representative from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority is currently in Samoa to confirm the safety and conformity of the facilities.
The reopening of the airport will still require the approval of the federal cabinet. However, there is much support from the public and private sectors for its re-opening.
The Revitalising of Pacific Travel
After a couple of years of the pandemic, firm border restrictions, and an array of natural disasters, the Pacific nations in Oceania will be looking to bring their airlines back to efficient operations.
But as Senior Lecture Apisalome Movono at Massey University wrote for The Conversation, Pacific aviation will be facing a number of challenges, including rising fuel costs, mounting debt, management issues and a shortage of pilots plaguing the industry in the region.