APIA, Samoa – The privately own Samoa-based Talofa Airways is “go”. Launched on 22 August 2016 in Apia, Talofa Airways offer regular 25-minute flights to neighbouring American Samoa after the US Department of Transportation (DOT) granted it exemption authority.
Talofa Airlines bring in additional seats for inter Samoa travel with six scheduled flights a day that started to operate from 30 August from both Faleolo International airport (APW) and Apia’s Fagali’i airport . The schedule will be reviewed at the end of September according to Toleafoa with the plan to increase the frequency.
This new airline is the realisation of a dream by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Toleafoa Jeffrey Hunter and wife Maria Westerlund Hunter. During the official opening, Toleafoa recalled that in 1996, his family had to decide between setting up a family business in Samoa or move to the United States. They decided to stay in Samoa where they would contribute to its development with their skills. Toleafoa did his homework analyzing the right aircraft, the market, costs, aviation laws and everything about the logistics. He then decided on the Twin Commander aircraft to start operations.
At the launch, Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi congratulated Toleafoa Jeffrey and Maria Hunter for believing in their vision and their perseverance. “I am confident that improved access will enhance opportunities for our people and tourists that wish to experience the two Samoa’s”.
The airline is planning to open more routes to neighbouring islands over the coming months including Tonga.