HAWAIIAN AIRLINES STILL ON HOLD TO PAGO PAGO

HONOLULU, Hawaii (PIR, July 8) – Problems discovered during an inspection of a runway at Pago Pago International Airport have caused another delay in the return of Hawaiian Airlines to regular service to American Samoa.

Company spokesman Keoni Wagner yesterday said that the airline would resume flights two days after federal inspectors approve the repairs.

Hawaiian suspended its thrice-weekly flights to Pago Pago two weeks ago after debris from the runway damaged the engines of two of its aircraft. While the extent of the damage has not yet been disclosed, Wagner said the cost of repairs to one of the aircraft has surpassed $400,000.

He said the Federal Aviation Administration had noted deterioration of the runway in an annual inspection last year and the runway was scheduled for resurfacing next month.

Work crews last week hurriedly applied a sealing compound as a temporary fix. But the FAA found problems with the repairs and is expected to return for another look on Tuesday. Wagner said the airline plans to return to American Samoa 48 hours after receiving FAA clearance.

July 8, 2003

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