The Chief Executive Officer of Samoa Airways, Seiuli Alvin Tuala, has assured the travelling public it is totally safe to fly with the nation’s new flag carrier.
Seiuli issued the assurance in Sydney Australia where the airline was officially launched during the weekend.
Seiuli also confirmed that the Airline has signed a US$1billion* (T$2.4billion) insurance policy. He did not say who they had signed the policy with.
So how safe is the new Airline?
Seiuli said it is safe enough he will allow his family, wife and children to travel on it and expect them to reach their destination safely.
“As an aviation professional having being involved in aviation law, safety and security for many years, I am well aware of the concerns of the travelling public when it comes to airline safety,” he said.
“I ask myself the question every time I go out to the airport or when I am on-board. Would I take my family on our aircraft. The answer is always yes because I know the work that is being done by the engineers and the maintenance teams in New Zealand and Australia including the pilots, to ensure that safety and security is paramount at all times and will never be compromised.
“Aviation is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world. Compliance is expensive but has to be done at all times without fail.”
The first Apia-Sydney flight was last week, reviving a flight that had been absent for 12 years.
According to Seiuli, the insurance coverage reflects the commitment by Samoa Airways to accomplish affordable airfares compared to her giant competitors.
Their goal is to increase traffic to Samoa which will translate to more tourism revenues.
“I also welcome the constructive criticisms voiced virally in the infant days of the airline because it’s just the beginning and the more the critics voice their say it serves as a constant reminder for the resurrected national carrier to fly away from mistakes of the past,” he said.
“It also gives me and management strategies on how best to remedy and alleviate the constructive and not so constructive feedback.
“At the end of the day, Samoa Airways is about our identity as Samoans worldwide.
“Our commitment will not be defeated by the obsession of a few whose ultimate mission is to criticize for the sake of criticizing for personal recognition and of course making headlines for a financial gain.”
Seiuli noted that while the positive encouragements is greatly appreciated; there is always room for improvements.
“Getting Samoa Airways off the ground in six months is a miracle to say the least,” he admits.
“But there is more to a book than its cover. For a single aircraft airline to be competitive, it needs time to mature, to crawl before it walks.”
Then there is the zero no tolerance no credit policy which is also enforced to the letter including all airline staff, says Seiuli.
“The no credit policy without exceptions is endorsed by the Prime Minister. It is real and not a promotional policy. And forget the F.O.C policy because it’s cash up front from now on.
“If you are truly a Samoa Airways patriot please don’t bother asking for credit.”
He does not want to make promises of where Samoa Airways will be in a year from now saying that the airlines have set targets to chase, which includes more aircrafts and new destinations.
“At the end of the day, Samoa Airways survival depends on the support of Samoans here and abroad,” added Seiuli.
“Like our Manu Samoa, Samoa Airways is about survival against all odds.”
*The story has been adjusted from the print version, which said the insurance was US$2billion. Samoa Airways has corrected this to say it is US$1billion. The print version also had a quote, which has been corrected here. Both the figure and the quotes were provided in a statement from the Press Secretary issued last night.