Samoa Air denied Fagali’i airport for Pago flights
APIA, Samoa — Privately owned Samoa Air has been denied use of Fagali’i Airport for flights to American Samoa by Polynesian Airlines.
“Polynesian has sent us a letter advising us that they will not allow us to operate from Fagali’i for international services,” Chief Executive Officer of Samoa Air, Chris Langton, says by email.
But Langton says “Samoa Air was given ‘unrestricted access’ to Fagali’i as a precedent to commencing operations.”
The matter has been referred to the Prime Minister, he says.
Samoa Air began operations mid-last year as a domestic airline.
State-owned Polynesian Airlines owns Fagali’i Airport.
It allows Samoa Air use of the airport for flights between Upolu and Savai’i islands.
Polynesian does not operate domestic flights except charters.
It serves the inter-Samoa route.
But the situation has changed with the approval for Samoa Air to operate on the same route announced earlier this month.
The two Samoa-based airlines are now rivals.
Flights by Samoa Air to American Samoa were announced to start earlier this month with a flight from Maota airport in Savai’i Island to Pago Pago International Airport in American Samoa.
Then they were postponed to Tuesday, the 26th.
Now they’re postponed again, probably to tomorrow.
If flights to American Samoa begin they will originate from Faleolo International Airport in light of the dispute with Polynesian Airlines over Fagali’i airport.