American Samoa was well represented at an international airline meeting called Global Routes 2013 Conference. in Las Vegas, earlier this month.
It was a venue for airlines to discuss and share future route plans and directions, and a chance for discussions leading to potential code-sharing and inter airline agreements.
Vice President of Inter Island Airways, Barney Sene who was part of the American Samoa delegation. said airlines such as Hawaiian, United and Air New Zealand were very interested in the South Pacific regional routes that Inter Island Airways plans to launch next year.
He said these airlines see the creation of a regional route hub in Pago Pago as an incentive for them to fly to the territory and drop off or uplift travelers who would continue onwards to Tonga, Niue and Fiji.
He said they also see the regional route as helping to enforce the Pago Pago - Faleolo/Apia route.
The airline vice presidnet explained that since any new domestic or international air carrier entering the Pago Pago market will want to ensure there are more inbound and outbound regional passengers to support their entry into American Samoa, including the increase of Hawaiian Air flights, these airlines see Inter Island Airways regional route approach as an important factor for them to consider Pago Pago.
Sene stressed the need to build up Pago Pago International Airport as a "regional" hub airport to encourage new airlines to add service to/from Pago Pago, or current airlines such as Hawaiian Airlines to increase flight service.
Also at the Las Vegas meeting were the Deputy Director of Commerce, Lelei Peau, along with DOC employees Sandra Lutu and Milo Niuelua, Executive Director of the American Samoa Visitors Bureau, David Vaeafe, Peter Lefiti and Fale Fruean of Port Administration, and Ella Gurr who deisgned American Samoa's booth at the conference.
Very intelligent, our people need help on these problems of traveling cause we are paying way to much and our people has suffered dearly due to this.Hope this help will ome through soon to lighten the burden we are facing..Faafetai..