Airport recorded loss of $13,173 in 2020 compared to $5 million profit in 2019

The Samoa Airport Authority is “excited” about the re-opening of international borders after three years of disrupted flights starting from the measles in 2019 and Covid-19 in 2020.
The SAA announced today, that with the opening of borders set for 1 August 2022 they are “thrilled that Government has seen it fit to relax some of the restrictions to the public, gathering at the airport to farewell and to meet and greet family and friends albeit we are still under alert level 2.
“In this essence, the Samoa Airport Authority advises, effective Sunday 22 May 2022 although the public has been granted access to the terminal;  we kindly ask to observe” covid restrictions.
“Have your vaccination card handy for inspection at the airport entrance by Police and Airport security; ensure masks are worn at all times and 2-meter social distancing is encouraged.”
Last month Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa announced that beginning from the flight on  Sunday, 22nd May, all booking reservations, and other airline arrangements for flights coming into and out of Samoa will be handed back to airline companies and travel agents, as have been the normal procedures before our borders were closed.
“The services for registration that were done through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade have now reverted back to the airline’s offices using both online and onsite services.
“The traveling public is advised to do bookings online with the relevant airline companies,” continued the Prime Minister.
Critical to the Samoa Government’s decision to slowly open the country’s borders are the current rates of the vaccination program, amendments to quarantine conditions, and the opening of borders of our neighboring countries, like Australia and Fiji as well as New Zealand.
The closing of borders had a huge impact on the SAA’s finances, this is outlined in its annual report for the financial year 2020, Chairman of the Board, Vaatuitui Apete Meredith stated that 2019 started positively following on from a financially successful prior year and with the success of Samoa in hosting the XVI Pacific Games on short notice in August 2019.
However, Financial Year 2020 was soon to offer enormous challenges to all of us in Samoa and to
the world.
Samoa not only endured a ‘measles epidemic’ in September 2019 that adversely affected tourism and travel but was later devastated by the impact of the ‘covid19 pandemic’ that closed down world travel.
Samoa closed its borders in March 2020 with a Declaration of National State of Emergency (SOE) that was still not lifted as at end of FY2020. With the world travel industry still experiencing uncertainty, the current devastation in revenue streams, and the lack of business opportunities at Faleolo
“International Airport remains critical and offers a threat to the operational viability as a commercial entity. Our Staff welfare is paramount, hence the SAA focus on ensuring appropriate Safety and Security measures are in place with sufficient resources allocated to counter potential CoVID19 risks to staff and management at ‘ground zero’.
“SAA tenants and business partners have been hit hard with border closure and despite efforts
to offer rental relief and operational help, they have conceded to the economic downturn with
their businesses having to close.”
The annual report indicated that with diminishing arrivals and departures in the third quarter and to absolute zero in the last quarter of the FY, the SAA experienced a 90% decline in revenue by the end of April 2020. Continued border restrictions will dictate SAA’s financial performance with aviation global models pushing back realistic recovery to the end of 2022.
In the FY report under review, the SAA’s operating loss for the year ended 30 June 2020 was 13,173$ compared to the $5 million profit the year before.