The entire “Commercial” management team at Samoa Airways was made “redundant” before the new interim board took over.
Price and Revenue Manager, Christ Dalton believes this is one of the reasons the previous board was dismissed from their duties.
He confirmed this in an interview with Radio Polynesia.
“These changes were not made by the new interim board, these were some of the last decisions by the previous board before their [services] were terminated [by Cabinet].
“And I think this is one of the reasons why they were let go,” said Dalton.
“We still have thousands of international tickets that need to be refunded with the majority in Australia and New Zealand.
“So we were in the process of refunding, but our call center was shut down and we were left with one sales manager in Australia and covering New Zealand.
“And she was our only point of contact for our thousands of customers that were wanting refunds, and yet her position was made redundant, so now we have no point of contact at all in New Zealand and Australia for all our stranded customers that have tickets.”
Adding that all the managerial positions were made redundant.
“The staff queried and the decision was blamed on the current Minister and Cabinet, however, it was uncovered later that it was untrue, the redundancy was not their decision,” said Dalton.
“It was made by the [previous] board.”
Efforts were made to get comments from Minister Leatinuu Wayne So’oialo, former Chairman, Muagututi’a Lafaele Ngau Chun, and former CEO, Seiuli Alvin Tuala.
Adding that since the new interim board took over earlier last month “not many” changes so far.
He said the company was “always going to go through a redundancy” as they were going from an airline that was operating internationally with jet operations to regional flights.
However, the timing was questionable, as there were outstanding issues that should have been sorted out first.
Another issue he cited was the lack of internal communications has not improved for Samoa Airways.
“The staff was the last to find out about any of the board decisions, we only found out about the new interim board through the media.” Dalton is now in charge of the sales and revenue operations of the airline.