Ousted Chairman of Airline, says reason behind their dismissal is unknown


The former Chairman of Samoa Airways, Muagututi’a Lafaele Ngau Chun says their board did not receive a “courtesy call” from the Special Committee and Cabinet over the cancellation of the lease. 

They were also not informed as to why they were dismissed as Board Directors. 

“We did not get a [chance] to explain anything and for [Cabinet] to hear our views of what that had transpired [for the Samoa Airways operations],” said Muagututi’a during his Talkshow on StarFM with host Maposua Corey Keil this morning. 

Last month Cabinet replaced the Samoa Airways board and appointed an interim board, with Tupuola Koki Tuala as interim Chairman. The members are businessman Taimalie Charlie Ah Liki and Fatu Tielu, the former CEO of the Airline. 

Aside from Muagututi’a the other ousted board members are Papalii Sonya Hunt and Tuia Paepae Letoa. 

He said they were not given any official reasons for their dismissal and there were repeated efforts to meet with Minister of the Airline, Leatinu’u Wayne So’oialo but were unsuccessful. 

Muagututi’a, also congratulated the new Board and wished them the best, noting they are capable and qualified professionals to oversee the airline’s operation. 

“I will offer my views again if the [new] board wants to understand what transpired during my time. I am quite willing to explain what we did,” said the former Chairman.  

Last year the Latu Lawyer firm issued a legal review of Samoa Airways and cited they allegedly “breached the solvency requirements of the Companies Act 2001, which attract both civil and criminal sanctions.”

The legal review, endorsed by Taulapapa Brenda Latu found that Samoa Airways accumulated debt up to $80 million.

This placed the Airline in a highly distressed financial position which on any assessment reflects a company that is technically insolvent as it is ‘unable to pay its debts as they fall due.

The legal opinion says the Samoa Airways Board of Directors approved the Lease and it would also appear to be individually breaching statutory directors’ duties under the same Act by failing to properly inform the shareholder of its financial position and continuing to trade whilst insolvent.