Polynesian Airlines Can Continue Servicing Manu‘a Route

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US government waives cabotage rules for January

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 2, 2015) – The U.S. government has given the Samoan government-owned Polynesian Airlines the thumbs up to continue flights to Manu'a for the whole of this month.

The carrier has been servicing the Manu'a-Tutuila route since September via 30-day cabotage waivers from the US Department of Transportation.

The Polynesian Airlines waiver had expired on Wednesday.

In anticipating the unavailability of a US carrier to service Manu'a, Polynesian petitioned earlier last month for a 30-day extension through January 2015.

In its ruling, the Department of Transport Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, Susan Kurland, says the approval starts today and ends January 29th or until five days after a US carrier initiates an intra-American Samoa passenger operations whichever occurs first.

The federal agency is deferring action on Polynesian's request to operate flights beyond January 29, 2015.

Miss Kurland adds that the absence of U.S. carrier passenger service while Inter Island Airways' aircraft is out of service, constitutes an emergency created by unusual circumstances not arising in the normal course of business.

She says based on the record, no U.S. carrier has an aircraft available that could be used to conduct the operations at issue here.

She also found that the grant of this authority to Polynesian would prevent unreasonable hardship to the residents of American Samoa.

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