Samoa Airways losses from 2018-2022, $104 million tala


In Parliament, yesterday Minister of Samoa Airways outlined in detail the accumulated losses recorded by Samoa Airways for $104 million in five years, between 2018 and 2022.

Jet services were resumed in 2017 under the previous government. Leatinu’u Wayne Sooialo said in 2018 – $14 million; in 2019 – $26 million; 2020 – $34 million; in 2021 – $3 million and in 2022 – $27 million. 

The Minister said this prompted the FAST government in December 2021 to cancel the lease of the Boeing and during negotiations with the Dutch company, which started at over 30 million tala compared but was reduced to 14 million tala.

He said the total debt by Samoa Airways amounted to $85 million,; from that, over $55 million is owed to UTOS, which the government is now paying. 

According to the Minister, the 2024 budget tabled in Parliament is $4 million allocated to assist Samoa Airways, with its operation and paying back its debts. The company has been tasked to find revenues to pay for the $21 million remaining debts. 

The Minister said the government is not rushing to lease an aircraft to avoid going into debt. Also, enough airlines are catering for Samoa between New Zealand and Australia.

The Minister said in March this year; the airline recorded a profit of 4 million tala from the twin otters flying between American Samoa and Samoa.