Pacific News Briefs

compiled by Samoa News staff

NOTHING TO FEAR, REASSURES SAMOA AIRWAYS CEO —

Samoa Airways is fully covered insurance wise. And there is nothing to fear, reassures the Chief Executive Officer Seiuli Alvin Tuala.

The airline has inked a US$2 billion dollar insurance policy.

The policy includes;

  • US$1 billion for the 737-800 aircraft
  • US$750 million for third party claims
  • $US250 million for passenger liabilities.

While it’s a mandated requirement for all airlines, the insurance coverage, says Seiuli reflects the commitment by Samoa Airways to accomplish affordable airfares compared to her giant competitors and increase traffic to Samoa which will translate to more tourism revenues injected into the economy.

A pilot by profession, Seiuli has also reassured Samoans in Sydney that his family; his wife and children are collateral to guarantee that it is safe to fly Samoan Airways.

 “As a pilot, I ask myself every time I sit in the cockpit if my family is safe to fly in the aircraft because their safety will never be compromised. To that end, my family will fly Samoa Airways,” Seiuli told the Samoan residents in Sydney in launching the Airlines Faleolo-Sydney direct, which has been absent for 12 years.

“Your safety is paramount and it will not be compromised,” he reiterated.

“I appreciate the public apprehensions raised because Samoa Airways is the people’s airline.

“I also welcome the constructive criticisms voiced virally in the infant days of the airline because it’s just the beginning and the more the critics voice their say it serves as a constant reminder for the resurrected national carrier to fly away from mistakes of the past. It also gives me and management strategies on how best to remedy and alleviate the constructive and not so constructive feedback.

“At the end of the day, Samoa Airways is about our identity as Samoans worldwide. “Our commitment will not be defeated by the obsession of a few whose ultimate mission is to criticize for the sake of criticizing for personal recognition and of course making headlines for a financial gain.”

Seiuli noted that while the positive encouragements is greatly appreciated, there is always room for improvements.

“Getting Samoa Airways off the ground in six months is a miracle to say the least,” he admits. “But there is more to a book than its cover. For a single aircraft airline to be competitive, it needs time to mature, to crawl before it walks.”

Then there is the zero no tolerance no credit policy which is also enforced to the letter including all airline staff, says Seiuli.

“The no credit policy without exceptions is endorsed by the Prime Minister. It is real and not a promotional policy. And forget the FOC policy because its cash up front from now on.

“If you are truly a Samoa Airways patriot please don’t bother asking for credit,” says Seiuli.

He does not want to make promises of where Samoa Airways will be in a year from now saying that the airline has set targets to chase which includes more aircraft and new destinations.

“At the end of the day, Samoa Airways’ survival depends on the support of Samoans here and abroad,” Seiuli said. “Like our Manu Samoa, Samoa Airways is about survival against all odds.”

(Source: SAMOA PRESS SECRETARIAT, Sydney Australia)

WORLD RUGBY DISPUTES SAMOA PM’S STATEMENT

World Rugby continues to be fully committed to assisting the Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) with its current financial challenges, according to a press release put out by the World Rugby Union, saying recent statements made by the chairman of the SRU questioning World Rugby’s funding package are inaccurate.

While the SRU’s failure to implement some jointly agreed high-performance initiatives in 2017 is a concern to World Rugby, and it has resulted in a small amount of conditional investment being withheld. 

World Rugby’s support of all tier two unions is both financial and administrative and is delivered on a partnership basis with each union. World Rugby continues to support the SRU’s national men’s 15s and sevens high-performance programs with a record £1.5 million in overall investment in 2017, specifically including:

•           Directly funding all insurance costs for the national 15s players while on international duty to maintain the highest standards of player welfare

•           Funding a training camp in London to provide valuable preparation ahead of the November tests

•           Funding the travel costs of Samoa players and other countries 

•           Funding any flights between test matches and all on-the ground expenses when playing against another tier two country or participating in World Rugby-organized tournaments. 

World Rugby can clarify that the union is not bankrupt and would also like to clarify the inaccurate statements made by the SRU Chairman relating to the selection of the national men’s 15s team coach.

World Rugby did not interfere with the recruitment and selection process. A clear and transparent process was agreed by all parties. However, the union did not wish to accept the recommendation of the independently chaired selection panel, which included SRU representatives. The SRU board decided to make its own appointment.

Therefore, World Rugby withdrew the funding allocated to this position but continues to honor its funding commitments for 2017 in line with the high-performance funding agreement. 

World Rugby’s support extends further than just financial commitments. It is working in partnership with Pacific Rugby Players (the official IRPA-affiliated body representing Pacific Island players) to implement personal development, player welfare and other important initiatives to support Pacific Island players all over the world.

World Rugby remains committed to supporting all Pacific Island unions in achieving their potential on and off the field and applauds the excellent progress made by the Fiji Rugby Union since implementing key governance and administrative reforms which are delivering significant positive results for the union.

(Source: Samoa Observer)

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