I write in response to Wendy’s viewpoint about airlines in Samoa.
Here is what I want to know: how can the Samoan tourist sector grow if we replace one incumbent set of routes with our new national carrier.
The net result is the same number of seats coming in, most of which are already high capacity, so there is Zero prospect for short-term growth.
How long do we have to manipulate the market and restrict competition for our new national carrier, or more to the point, how long to we have to suppress tourism growth just so we can ensure our national carrier is viable?
A sound business plan would have projected some level of profitability or acceptable losses until they can establish themselves as a player in this cut throat market.
If this could not be reliably projected, then a national carrier may end up being a luxury the country cannot afford.
I am 100% behind Samoa Airways and hope that they firstly, succeed financially and establish themselves as a viable long term player and secondly, put the cat amongst the established pigeons and result in a better deal for tourists coming to Samoa, which will result in increased tourism.
A month ago, based on what was being reported, I thought that there could have been as many as 12 additional flights per week into Samoa (SA-6, VA-2, ANZ-2 & FA-2).
What we now face is more like 3 or 4 additional flights and the snubbing of one of the regions major carriers.
Still, we got to deal with the hand we are dealt, so best of luck Samoa Airways, the whole Samoan Tourist industry is behind you.