Samoa welcomes inaugural direct flight from China
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Samoa now has a direct flight from China to Samoa. The inaugural flight arrived at Faleolo Airport on May 29, 2023 with over 200 passengers and was greeted with an ava ceremony and fanfare by the Samoa Tourism Authority, including a welcome dinner with entertainment. The direct air service comes at a time when the U.S. is trying to strengthen its presence in the Pacific with an eye on weakening China’s influence in the region.
According to a report from the newspaper, Samoa Observer, there are five direct flights from China currently scheduled in the upcoming months. This first flight was mostly composed of Chinese business representatives the paper reported, “who used the trip as a fact-finding mission of Samoa and its economic potential.”
The business representatives are reported to be in Samoa for seven (7) days and their accommodations are at various hotels.
The first direct flight is on the same day that the Samoa government re-opened the Fagali’i Airport after 4 years of being closed for safety reasons. The airport is a vital connection to re-opening Pago to Samoa and return travel between the two Samoas. At one time, American Samoa travelers were among the most frequent visitors to Samoa.