3 Feb 2020

Samoa Airways extends Malindo plane lease

6:10 am on 3 February 2020
Samoa Airways Boeing 737-800 taxiing at Auckland International Airport.

Photo: 123RF

Samoa's national airline Samoa Airways will have the use of the leased Malindo Air plane for at least another three more months.

Minister of Public Enterprises Lautafi Selafi Purcell has told the Samoa Observer the airline had secured an extension to its wet lease until May 2020.

He said the new extension had a clause to allow the airline to pull out before May if they find another aircraft but added the search for a replacement plane has been challenging.

He said they may have to find an older plane which would be costly with maintenance if they can't secure a similar one to the Malindo Air plane they currently lease.

"We have to look at all of that and balance it out, those are our options," he told the newspaper.

The grounding of Boeing 737-Max planes just as Samoa Airways was to take delivery of a new plane has caused havoc with the fledgling airline's financial fortunes.

Leasing rates for planes have soared by 40 percent since the groundings as airlines around the world scramble to secure new leases for their grounded fleets.

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