By Gladys Hartson - email@example.com
Samoa Airways touches down in Auckland. Photo/ PRN.
The maiden flight for Samoa Airways Boeing 737-800 touched down at Auckland International Airport this morning as part of the launch of Samoa’s new national airline.
Samoa Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi led the delegation on the flight that was greeted on the tarmac with the customary water canon to welcome Samoa Airways 737- 800.
The delegation led by Samoa's Prime Minister, welcomed at Auckland International Airport. Photo/ PRN.
Samoa Airways CEO Tupu'ivao Seiuli Alvin Tuala says it was an emotional event.
“I’m at a loss for words because it’s been a long time coming, but we’re really excited about the start-up of the airline and coming to New Zealand and serving the people and the general public.”
“There was a festive feeling on the flight, a few teething problems but we’re sorting it out. People we’re really excited to be on that first flight,” says Tupu’ivao.
Samoa Observer reporter Liz Ah Hi says she was humbled to be a passenger on the maiden flight.
“It was awesome when we took off. It was quite an emotional time for everyone.”
“As we were ascending everyone started singing a Samoan hymn, it was a really special moment for everyone on board," says Ah Hi.
Chairman of the Board of Directors for Samoa Airways Fe'esago Siaosi Fepulea'i says the new airline is long overdue.
"The airline doesn’t belong to me or the Prime Minister, it doesn’t belong to any particular government or anybody. It belongs to the people of Samoa and if you’re a Samoan, I’m a Samoan, come and support this service."
Fe'esago Siaosi Fepulea'i. Photo/ PRN.