20 Aug 2013

Airline problems causing delays in Samoas

3:00 pm on 20 August 2013

The only airline flying between Samoa and American Samoa is under huge pressure in the lead-up to the consecration of the territory's Catholic bishop later this week.

Inter Island Air has been out of action for a week due to an engine overhaul and Samoa Air stopped flying last week due to bad weather, leaving Polynesian Air as the sole operator.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago says aside from the usual volume of travellers many people are trying to get to American Samoa for the bishop's consecration.

Monica Miller says in some cases people are having to fly before their luggage.

"With only the Twin Otters going and Polynesian only has two, and you know, if come for a fa'alavelave, as we call it - these cultural obligations - you bring large bundles of fine mats and other foodstuffs."

Monica Miller says those passengers are having to wait several days for their luggage to arrive.