Samoa Airways a few minutes after landing at Faleolo International Airport, Apia, Samoa
By Staff Reporters/Photos by Gerwin Polu
APIA, SAMOA – SATURDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2017: The Samoa Airways aircraft B737-800 landed at Faleolo International Airport at 3pm this afternoon, three hours behind the original scheduled landing time.
The ferry flight left Milan yesterday mid-morning and flew on route to Samoa through Singapore, Cairns, Australia then Apia.
Prior to landing, the aircraft under Captain Gabrielperformed a fly-pass around the skies of Samoa from the north-coast of Savai’i, over the islands of Apolima and Manono, along the south-coast of Upolu and onwards to American Samoa before turning back through the north-coast of Upolu.
She also took a low fly pass over the capital Apia before touchdown at Faleolo. A special water salute was provided by the Samoa Airport Authority as the aircraft taxied from the runway to the apron-area.
On hand to greet the aircraft and crew were the Minister of Samoa Airways, Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell, the Chairman of the Board of Directors Fe’esago Siaosi Fepuleai, the CEO Seiuli Alvin Tuala, Staff and Government representatives.
$20million talā capital
Minister Lautafi Selafi Purcell told Talamua that he was very glad that the aircraft has finally landed after more than 10 months of planning and negotiations.
He also revealed that the Samoa Airways establishment capital is $20 million talā.
Six months training for pilots and crew
Captain Cabriel told Talamua that the ferry flight was delayed through service delays in various ports on route to Samoa.
He also explained that the aircraft will be manned by his crew and will provide training for Samoa Airways pilots and crew for the next six months before they phase out.
Click here for Video Clip of landing: https://youtu.be/IaEfxT1zK24
The B737-800 has a seating capacity of 172 including 8 in the Business Class.
The official launch will be on Monday, 13 November at 4.00pm before she makes her first scheduled flight from Apia to Auckland at 7am on Tuesday 14 November.