In view of the current economic impacts of COVID-19 to the global airline industry, Samoa’s national carrier has also had to adopt a cautionary approach, imposing massive staff and salary cuts since March this year.
Chief Executive Officer Tupuivao Seiuli Alvin Tuala says all areas of the business have been reviewed and streamlined over the past few months.
“Close to 90% of our staff are on leave without pay and those that are working have been placed on 50% salary reduction since March this year”.
Tupuivao says the airline has continued with minimal staff to ensure operations such as the service that has not ceased in American Samoa, and its upcoming Savai’i services scheduled to start next week.
“We have two pilots and engineers who made the sacrifice to stay on in Pago since the lockdown to continue the air service to Manu’a on request of the American Samoa government;
“We have also continued our ground handling operations for customer airlines Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways and private chartered flights to and from Samoa at this time.”
Tupuivao says the limited team is also focused on getting the airline ready for when international borders open up.
“These are not easy times; for us and everyone else affected by this unfortunate situation, but with our faith and belief in God, we will come out of this a lot stronger,” said Tupuivao.