8 Dec 2004

American Samoa travel expert sees disruption ahead

11:16 am on 8 December 2004

There's a prediction that American Samoan travellers are set to be greatly inconvenienced following the surprise decision by Aloha Airlines to end its twice-weekly flights from Honolulu.

Aloha Airlines will end its flights into both the Marshall Islands and Pago Pago in early January. The carrier is also, next week, suspending its twice weekly service to the Cook Islands.

Minni Tuia of Pleasure Tourism Travel in Pago Pago says the decision to suspend flights to Rarotonga was the only indication from Aloha that its goals haven't been met.

She says businesses are unlikely to be affected, as Aloha hasn't carried freight, but the public will feel the pinch, especially during holiday times when available flights will not match demand.

"With the two airlines you had over a thousand, I think, during peak season, passengers travelling. Now without that carrier Hawaiian will probably be asked to put on an additional flight. And they nmormally do that every summer and during the Christmas season, except the need is probably going to be greater."

Minni Tuia says Aloha did not honour a low-fare promise and did not market the route.