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Samoa Air And Coral Sun Airways Flights Between Samoa And Kiribati

Samoa Air And Coral Sun Airways Flights Between Samoa And Kiribati
January 29
12:16 2015

Samoan and Kiribati national carriers, Samoa Air and Coral Sun Airways, have announced their intentions to provide for regular weekly Air Transport services between their two countries.

The two airlines also plan to offer charter services across the Pacific.

The service will operate by way of a stop at Funafuti Airport in Tuvalu and so provide for a connection from Tuvalu to both Samoa and to Kiribati direct.

This is a joint venture between the two airlines which are private enterprise operators locally-owned and operated in their respective countries.

None of these routes is being currently serviced and Tuvalu and Kiribati have been without a direct link for many years.

Currently, anyone wishing to fly into Tuvalu or Kiribati has to come to Fiji and then get on a Fiji Airways plane operated by Fiji Link.

The service is expected to start in the first week of March.

Samoa Air sees this as the start of ongoing regional partnerships intended to restore Samoa as a Pacific Hub.

Other routes including Niue, Tonga, Fiji and the Northern Cook Islands are being evaluated as the two airlines intend to further develop their joint services in collaboration with other regional partners.

Aircraft and flight

The Aircraft is a Beechcraft Super King Air 200 which is a pressurised aircraft with a configuration of eight-seats laid out in Executive style couches and individual seating. The King Air is a multi engine turbo prop and pressurised and cruises at jet levels and has been one of the most popular aircraft of all time.

It is the Primary Aircraft used in Australia by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Flights are planned to depart Faleolo Airport on a Tuesday morning and will return via the same route on a Friday. The Airline has applied for a regular service between Samoa and Tonga.

Samoa Air chief executive Chris Langton said this was a very significant event.

“This is a first for a long time in terms of Regional Flights by a Samoan Carrier from Samoa,” he said.

“We are also planning to extend into regional Jet services by way of partnerships with other carriers who share the same interests which we do”.

 

Agricultural interest

Mr Langton said there has already been a lot of interest shown in Samoan fresh vegetables and fruit supplies to both Tuvalu and to Kiribati.

“It’s very difficult for our growers to get into places like New Zealand and Australia but there are opportunities for us to supply to our Pacific neighbours,” he said.

“We are talking about fresh produce picked same day so I think it’s going to be much sought after.

“We also see the benefit of an option for both Kiribati and Tuvalu passengers to connect via Samoa to Australia and to New Zealand and also to Honolulu and of course there has been no connection between Tuvalu and Kiribati for a very long time.”

 

Coral Sun plans

Coral Sun will be offering charter to Canton Island and to Christmas Island as an extension of domestic services from within Kiribati and both destinations can also be reached from Samoa.

Coral Sun CEO says there are also options to include flights to Majuro in the Marshall Islands.

Samoa Air intends to continue with its “pay by weight” scheme for passengers. “Its still the fairest way of paying for air travel” says the CEO.

“Aircraft still only have weight to sell so its up to the client to tell us how much weight they want to pay for and that way the baggage always travels.

“No such thing as excess baggage rates as we charge the same rate per kilo regardless whether its cargo or passenger”.

 

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