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U.S. Dept. Transportation grants Hawaiian Air exemption

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The US Dept. of Transportation this week granted Hawaiian Airlines request to renew until Aug. 1, its Service Obligation exemption to suspend air services between Honolulu and Pago Pago.

Hawaiian sought a continue exemption under provisions of the federal CARES Act, based on a June 18th request from Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga who was concerned with the spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Honolulu.  (See Samoa News edition June 19th for details.)

In approving the airline’s request, USDOT deputy assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs, David Short, said the federal agency “deemed American Samoa as an exemption point from Hawaiian’s service obligation so long as the Governor of American Samoa’s request for Hawaiian to suspend service to American Samoa remained in effect.”