22 Aug 2016

Samoa Talofa Airways ready to take off after launch

7:25 pm on 22 August 2016

A new airline, Talofa Airways, has been launched in Samoa and will start flying next week.

One of Talofa Airways Twin Commander aircraft

One of Talofa Airways Twin Commander aircraft Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

It will be the third locally operated airline alongside Polynesian Airlines and Samoa Air.

Talofa Airways will operate two nine seater Twin Commander aircraft between the two Samoas and also plans to fly to Vava'u in Tonga.

The airline is managed by a former CEO of Polynesian Airlines Taua Fatu Tielu and Toleafoa Jeffrey Hunter who is the new airline's CEO.

"Competition is scary, it's always scary, but it's good. It's good for the travelling public, it's good for us, people that are running the airline. It gives us the opportunity to look at what we need to improve and then we improve from there, " said Toleafoa Jeffrey Hunter.

Talofa Airways staff at the launch of the airline

Talofa Airways staff at the launch of the airline Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Talofa Airways is waiting for a permit to allow its aircraft to land in Tonga and its flights to the kingdom are scheduled to start before the end of the year.

The Prime Minister and former chairman of Polynesian Airlines Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said he hoped the increase in the availability of flights between the two Samoas would result in fewer complaints from the travelling public.

Polynesian airlines

Polynesian airlines Photo: Free google search image

Seventeen staff have been employed in Apia and seven in American Samoa.

The airline launches its service at Tafuna International Airport in American Samoa tomorrow.