12 Apr 2010

American Samoa wants changes to international flight restrictions

3:14 pm on 12 April 2010

American Samoa is to ask Washington to allow foreign airlines to pick up passengers from Pago Pago and carry them to the US mainland.

Under federal cabotage law, foreign carriers cannot take passengers between US airports.

However, the territory's Governor, Togiola Tulafono, says he will send a request asking the federal government for an exemption.

Togiola says there are airlines from Fiji and New Zealand heading to and from the US and they cannot land in the territory to take on passengers due to this federal regulation.

He says this is one of the reasons that there is no major investment in tourist accommodation in the territory and why airfares to and from Hawaii are so expensive.