Friday, July 28, 2017

Fiji Airways to help Samoa relaunch national airline

Fiji Airways has signed an agreement confirming that it will help the government of Samoa relaunch its national airline.

The Fijian carrier has signed an agreement with state-owned Samoa Airways, which intends to resume international services. Under the agreement, Fiji Airways said it would “provide initial support” to help Samoa Airways introduce flights to New Zealand and Australia. It will do this “through the use of [Fiji Airways’] established infrastructure in sales, commercial operations and maintenance.”

Following the agreement, the two carriers said they are now negotiating the “separate commercial and operations agreements” that will form their alliance. Samoa Airways said it will “solely manage” routes from Samoa to Australia and New Zealand, but other routes will be jointly managed through codesharing and interlining.

The Samoan government said partnering with Fiji Airways was “driven mainly by the critical need to look beyond New Zealand and Australia.” The intention is to gain connectivity to broader markets through Fiji Airways’ international network and its alliances with other carriers.

The Samoan government recently approved the name change of Polynesian Airlines to Samoa Airways. It is still unclear what aircraft will be used to launch Samoa Airways’ international flights, as it currently operates only turboprop aircraft. The carrier has indicated it will operate its own jet aircraft, but has also raised the possibility of leasing arrangements with Fiji Airways.

(Adrian Schofield - Aviation Daily / ATWOnline News)

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