Samoa Airways seeks cabotage extension for Manu’a flights
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Samoa government owned Polynesian Limited d/b/a Samoa Airways has applied to the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) for renewal of its cabotage exemption to continue providing air service between Tutuila and the Manu’a island group.
The current exemption for 180-days — as required under federal law — expires Feb. 1st and the airline is seeking approval through Feb. 1, 2022. The airline said request for the 12-month period is to avoid the need to file duplicative applications with USDOT.
The airline argued in its new application that without the exemption renewal, Samoa Airways would be forced to suspend its service.
Furthermore, the American Samoa government has requested that Samoa Airways continue to provide emergency service between Pago Pago and the Manu’a Islands to prevent American Samoan residents from being left with little or no air service.
Samoa Airways said it will continue to operate three to five weekly flights between Tutuila and the Manu’a Islands depending on the needs of island residents and shippers and aircraft availability as well as medical evacuation and other emergency flights as needed.
It also says that additional flights will be scheduled if needed. And flights will be operated with Samoa Airways’ 19-seat Twin Otter aircraft.
Samoa News points out that the airline has an aircraft and crew based in Pago Pago for the Manu’a flights. Currently there is no US carrier able to provide American Samoa domestic flights.