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Samoa Airways landing fees request being considered

The request to waive the landing fees for Samoa Airways at Faleolo International Airport is unlikely to be granted.

Instead, they are likely to be charged at a much reduced rate. 

So says the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, who confirmed the request has yet to be approved by Cabinet. 

“The Samoa Airport Authority’s (SAA) biggest revenue is the landing fees and if this request is considered, it is a smart move to reduce rather than waive,” said the Minister. 

Earlier this year, Samoa Airways requested the SAA to waive its landing fees for 2018 and this was confirmed by SAA Chief Executive Officer, Magele Hoe Viali during a phone interview with the Samoa Observer earlier. 

The Minister, during an interview with the Samoa Observer, confirmed that so far, Samoa Airways are paying their landing fees. 

“As Minister of Airport Authority, we need the revenue. We can help by reducing the fee, as the airline is trying to make some profit but not waiving it in full. 

“Again, in my hat as Minister, Airport Authority also needs revenue to maintain our airport, in terms of electricity maintenance and bills etc. 

“And they need to maximise their earning capacity and that includes landing fees,” said the Minister. 

“It’s quite costly to upkeep our multimillion airport. 

“Again, the airport needs the landing fees and that is why it is a wise move to reduce rather than waive,” the Minister reiterated. 

Papali’i was unable to pinpoint how much the Samoa Airways landing fees, but made it clear that “other airlines are paying their fees and so should Samoa Airways”.

“I don’t know the details and you should ask the CEO.” 

According to Papali’i, there have been correspondences between the CEO of Samoa Airways and SAA Chief Executive Officer on the said matter. 

“Their CEO have again asked the airport CEO to reconsider their request and to date I have not seen a response from our CEO.” 

Asked for a copy of the letter, Papali’i declined the request.

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