AMERICAN SAMOA PROVIDES EQUIPMENT FOR ALOHA AIRLINES

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa, (Samoa News, Dec. 5) - Almost $400,000 worth of airport ground handling equipment, belonging to the American Samoa Government (ASG), is now on island and being inventoried to be operated and managed by Aloha Airlines.

Aloha's Regional Vice President for North America and the Pacific, John Albrecht, confirmed this arrangement yesterday and told Samoa News that the carrier will be operator and manager of the equipment on behalf of ASG.

Samoa News has learned that the total price tag for the equipment is $396,150. But it was unclear at press time what the funding source was or which ASG department is footing the bill.

Governor Togiola Tulafono told Samoa News two months ago that ASG "offered one set of incentives" to the Honolulu-based carrier, and that was to purchase ground handling equipment that Aloha will lease, under the condition that if any equipment should be needed by other airlines or operators, Aloha will have to share.

A government source said "There is a lot of ground handling equipment that is on island, with a lot of new stuff and used stuff with the used equipment all in very excellent condition."

The equipment will be processed then inventoried and labeled as ASG property.

Albrecht said he has seen the equipment and is pleased with it. Among the equipment is a disabled passenger lift, which allows the airline to board and deplane disabled individuals.

He said the airline is appreciative of this equipment for the disabled as "it will benefit disabled individuals that travel" to and from Pago Pago.

Other big ticket items on the list include three tow tugs, large baggage carts, a catering truck, a lavatory cart and covered air stairs - which is very useful during bad weather.

Samoa News has learned that ASG purchased the equipment from JALUX AMERICAS, Inc., based in El Segundo, California which is a part of the JALUX Inc., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

The company, which operates various divisions and groups around the world with an operation in Hawaii, is a subsidiary of Japan Airlines.

The company deals in a number of products and services such as import and sales/lease of aircraft equipment and materials, machinery, vehicles, computers, and ground handling equipment.

Aloha Airlines is scheduled to begin two weekly flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago on Dec. 16. The carrier will operate the same two flights onto Rarotonga, Cook Islands returning to Honolulu via Pago Pago.

December 10, 2003

Samoa News: www.samoanews.com

 

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