Samoa Airways first plane due this weekend

Samoa Airways, which begins services next week, has been granted a licence to fly between Apia and Sydney.

The Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said a licence has also been granted to Virgin Australia for flights on the same route.

Samoa Airways 737-800 aircraft is due to complete its delivery flight from Europe tomorrow morning ahead of its inaugural commercial flight from Apia to Auckland next Tuesday.

Mr Tuila'epa told reporters this week the government had learnt from the financial struggles the state's former operator, Polynesian Airlines, had gone through.

The prime minister blamed some of the losses on church personnel, government officials and politicians making trips and not paying for them.

He said the new airline service will not allow such practices.

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