11 Sep 2003

Samoa Air hoping for government rescue package

5:39 pm on 11 September 2003

American Samoa's airline is waiting for lawmakers to decide whether to go ahead with a half-a-million dollar rescue package.

The government is looking at providing assistance to the airline, which was grounded because of essential repairs and the lack of any immediately-available replacement.

It's understood that Polynesian Airlines, based in independent Samoa, has been asked to provide a temporary service between Pago Pago and Manu'a.

The Apia-based airline is hoping for clearance from the US department of transportation to operate as a foreign carrier on internal flights within the US territory.

Our correspondent, Fili Sagapolutele, says in the meantime air links to outlying islands remain severed and people who travel to work or school are inconvenienced.

"They have people travelling back and forth for personal reasons."

There's business people that travel back and forth on a daily basis but now they are unable to do that

Fili Sagapolutele says the only transport connection is a ship once a week, but even that is dependent on the weather.