21 May 2014

Samoan flights to Tonga prone to Pago Pago demand

7:44 pm on 21 May 2014

The outgoing CEO of Polynesian Airlines says the new flights from Samoa to Tonga's Vava'u island may be affected by demand from American Samoa.

Taua Fatu Tielu says the flights were originally targeted to start in early July but due to unforeseen maintenance, they will now begin in August.

The flights will save Tongans and Samoans a trip to Fiji or New Zealand to travel between the two countries.

He says demand on the Apia to Pago Pago route may affect the flights, as that route takes priority over others.

"The demand between Samoa and American Samoa fluctuates quite a lot. So if we end up having a lot of people trying to travel between American Samoa and Samoa, it will mean that we may need to sacrifice some of those flights or we may need to cancel the flights to Vava'u."

Taua Fatu Tielu says the current twin-otter plane that is proposed to be used will take two hours to fly to Vava'u and the airline is looking at purchasing a King Air Beechcraft turboprop, to make the venture more efficient.