18 Mar 2011

Samoa Tourism officials work with airline over key route

11:02 am on 18 March 2011

Samoa's Tourism Authority says it is working with Air New Zealand to try to maintain fares, after the carrier pulled out of the Los Angeles to Apia route.

It was announced the Tonga-Samoa-Los Angeles route would end late last year, with the final flight at the end of January.

Tourism operators in Apia say the decision is already hurting the industry.

The tourism authority's Dwayne Bentley says it is definitely having an impact.

"The preference is always to go non-stop and to go direct. People are time poor these days, we understand that. The flight's gone, we're moving on from that, and we are working closely with Air New Zealand to look at other options. What we're very pleased to know is that the airline is working on maintaining fares, between to two ports, so that people can travel through Auckland, basically on the same fare."