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ASG workers who moonlight on HA flights must submit leave forms

Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga
Passenger count on today’s repatriation flight remains at 159

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — ASG employees, who also work part time for Hawaiian Airlines are required to submit a leave form to their supervisors if their government work schedules conflict with arrival of repatriation flights bringing home hundreds of local residents stranded off island since the ban on air travel to American Samoa.

This is according to a Jan. 26th memorandum titled, “ASG Employees working for Hawaiian Airlines —  from Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga, to cabinet members, as the first repatriation flight with 159 passengers is scheduled to arrive this afternoon from Honolulu.

“To ensure a smooth airport flight operation during the upcoming repatriation flights, all ASG employees who are also employed part-time at Hawaiian Airlines shall be excused from work should the [repatriation] flight schedule conflict with their ASG job schedules,” Lemanu declared in his memo.

According to the governor, the affected employees must inform their department by submitting a leave form to their immediate supervisor prior to the arrival of each repatriation flight.

Prior to suspension of flights in March 2020 between Honolulu and Pago Pago due to COVID-19 restrictions, Hawaiian Airlines flight arrivals and departures were at night, after most ASG business hours. For at least three-months in 2018, the airline operated during the day, when the Instrument Landing System at Pago Pago International Airport was down. At that time, then-Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga requested ASG entities to accommodate the work schedules of the 13 ASG employees working part time at Hawaiian Airlines — allowing them to continue working their part time jobs with the airline.

As of yesterday morning’s count the total number of incoming passengers onboard today’s flight remains at 159 and health officials said all passengers are wearing masks as required by the airline. (U.S. news outlets are reporting that wearing mask on all form of public transportation — including on airplanes — across the U.S is now a federal mandate.)

There’s no official word from the governor or the ASG COVID-19 Task Force as to the number of planned repatriation flights, although Bluesky Communications said last Friday during the company’s donation presentation for ASG’s repatriation donation drive that there are five anticipated repatriation flights. (See separate story in today’s edition on Bluesky’s donation.)

Health Department officials had said publicly that the repatriation flights would continue until all American Samoa residents — those stranded across the US since the travel ban in March 2020 due to local COVID-19 restrictions — are returned home.


For today’s outbound flight — which is the Medicaid Charter — check-in time for passengers is 6:30a.m. to 10:30a.m. at the Hawaiian Airlines check-in counter. Between 11:00AM-1:45PM is check-in at the Security Gate.

According to the American Samoa Medicaid State Agency — or Medicaid Office — Hawaiian Airlines “will close the security gate precisely at 1:45PM. There will be no exceptions, if you miss the closing time, you will miss the flight.”

Passengers are advised to “say goodbye to your loved ones at home.”

Additionally, the airport will close at 10:30AM today to all non-passengers. Only passengers and airport employees will be allowed at the airport after 10:30AM. There will only be a drop-off at the curb for those coming to check in for the security line.