Samoa Airways pilots tested positive in Pago, flights cancelled


Samoa Airways pilots in American Samoa have tested positive for COVID and this led to the cancellation of flights to Manu’a in the last two days. 

Talanei reported the plans for Samoa Airways to ferry replacement pilots from Apia to operate charter flights to Manu’a didn’t pan out.

The reason according to American Samoa’s Director of Health, Motusa Tuileama Nua is the difficulty finding pilots that meet the Covid free requirements. He said that they need two pilots who are negative of Covid.

According to the Director one of the replacement pilots previously had Covid but they needed proof that he is a historical case.

Efforts were made by Radio Polynesia to get comments from the CEO of Samoa Airways, Seiuli Alvin Tuala were unsuccessful.

As of yesterday afternoon, negotiations were still in progress between the Department of Health, Ministry of Health and Samoa Airways.

One of the Pago-based airline pilots tested positive for Covid yesterday and the other one was classified as close contact, therefore flights were halted.

The airline was scheduled to operate two charters yesterday and today to take human remains for burial in Manu’a.

Reports from Manu’a say families had already completed food and cultural gifts for the funeral that was to be held today when they got word the flight was cancelled.

Motusa said the Manu’atele left last night with some of the travellers and cargo for Manu’a and the boat is returning this evening and reloading for another trip tonight or tomorrow morning.