24 Jun 2004

Hawaii carrier seeks Samoa service

4:26 pm on 24 June 2004

The Hawaii-based Pacific Wings has applied for an exemption to start a scheduled domestic air service to fly between American Samoa and Samoa.

Flights between the two Samoas are currently operated by the Samoan government owned Polynesian Airlines.

In its petition, Pacific Wings, which would also provide a domestic service in American Samoa, says it's not in the public interest for the resident of any US territory to become dependent for basic air transportation on the ability and willingness of carriers from neighbouring countries.

Pacific Wings proposed to use Cessna Caravans, the same nine passenger single engine aircraft is uses in Hawaii.

An exemption is required because of Federal Aviation Administration regulations that prevent scheduled airlines from operating a land passenger aircraft over water unless at altitude that allows it to glide to land in case of engine failure.

On some proposed flights, a Caravan would spend about five minutes outside gliding range of land.

However, Pacific Wings argues that the Caravan's excellent safety record makes that reasonable