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Samoa Air’s inaugural flight arrived yesterday morning — re-opening the route between Savaii and Pago Pago. It used one of its two 9-seater planes that is a part of its fleet, which also includes a 3-seat aircraft. The airline is introducing American Samoa to a new airfare concept: pay-per-weigh, airfare which depends on the weight of the passengers and their bags.


According to Samoa Air chief executive officer Chris Langton, “...we must charge by weight, never by seat and this is to make sure that the seat given to the passenger is what they paid for.” He noted that one of the issues he wants to share with the public is the fact that a plane is operated by weight and not by seat.


Samoa News received mixed reviews from the public about the new concept of ‘weigh to go’ airfare, at Pago Pago International Airport yesterday morning during the plane’s arrival.


“Well, I guess it’s ok, if you are not ‘obese’ because if you are obese, you would probably pay more than if you were paying a set fare,” said one.  Another commented, “I think in the long run, it will save people a lot of money,” while yet another asked, “Why did they have to start this here in Samoa of all places?”  — perhaps referring to the fact that Samoa and American Samoa take spots in the World’s Top Ten list  with more than 70% of citizens age 15 and over at an unhealthy weight (obese), according to


Currently, fares between Maota and Pago Pago are US$1.06 per kilo (a kilo is 2.2 pounds) and between Faleolo and Pago Pago the cost is US$0.93 per kilo, according to Langton, who added that fares are available on the airline’s website.


Samoa News worked it out that a pay-per-weigh airfare, from Maota to Pago Pago, for a total of 350 pounds (personal weight plus luggage) equals $168.64; and as far as Samoa News can figure out — this is a one-way fare, not round trip. A round trip ticket, Pago- Apia- Pago on other airlines is around $185, with extra paid for luggage above the allowed poundage.


News of the new 'weight to go' airfare has hit the international news media, as Samoa Air is the first airline in the world to introduce the concept.