Polynesian Airlines returns $1m profit

Polynesian Airlines CEO Taua Fatu Tielu likes the pay-by-weight fares but won’t adopt it.

Polynesian Airlines CEO Taua Fatu Tielu

Alan Ah Mu

APIA: FRIDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2014: Polynesian Airlines returned to the million tala level in profit in the last financial year. For the year ended 30 June 2013, Polynesian made $1,195,706 in profit.

It was a 35% increase from last year’s profit – of $887 116 – which was a massive drop in profit from previous years as earnings took a near-$1 million cut from the loss of Virgin Samoa’s ground handling business in late January 2011.

Last year’s profit came from revenue of $13.9 million an increase of 7% from the previous year.

The revenue increase reflected growth in all three core businesses of the company of airline operations (by 7%); aircraft ground and cargo handling (by 5%) and general sales agency activities (by 13%).

Apia-based and state owned,Polynesian flies scheduled and chartered flights between Samoa and American Samoa – and charters between the islands of Upolu and Savai’i in Samoa.

“Excluding passengers on charter flights, the number of passengers carried between the two Samoans went up by 5% to 53,433 from last year’s 50 900,” says Chief Executive Officer, Taua Fatu Tielu in Polynesian’s annual report of 2013 which has been tabled  in Parliament.

They now hold 70-75% of the inter-Samoa market, up from 60-65% last year, Taua says.

The main reasons for this “excellent market share” are the reliable service from its two twin otter aircraft and the convenience of Fagali’i Airport to passengers between the two Samoas, he says.

Main rival Inter Island Airways launches flights from Faleolo airport located 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Apia the capital of Samoa.

Located just five kilometres south-east of Apia, Fagali’i was re-opened by Polynesian in July 2009 after it had been closed for five years.