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Pacific Islands

Air New Zealand starts repatriation flights to Samoa

Auckland, New Zealand

Air New Zealand leaves Fua'amotu International Airport, 15 April 2020.

Samoan citizens stuck in New Zealand can now return to Samoa as the first of a series of repatriation flights departed Auckland to Apia today, 29 May.

The repatriation flights between the two countries are expected to be operating on a fortnightly basis (once every two weeks) in accordance with the Travel Advice issued by the Government of Samoa.

All passengers on the repatriation flights will need to take a CoViD-19 test three days before travel, and carry proof of a negative result. Passengers are also required to hold a medical certificate advising fitness to fly (no symptoms of illness).

On arrival in Samoa, all passengers will be required to enter a 14-day quarantine at locations nominated by the Samoan Government.

A limited number of passengers will be transported on these flights to allow for appropriate social distancing onboard, and to ensure quarantine can be managed in Samoa.

Air New Zealand’s Country Manager for Samoa, Karen Gatt says the airline is very happy to be supporting the Government of Samoa with the safe return of Samoan residents to their homeland.

Long wait

“There are a large number of people currently in New Zealand who would like to return to Samoa. Because of COVID-19 and the resulting travel bans, for many of them there has been a substantial wait to be able to return to Samoa.”

“Air New Zealand is in the process of making contact with those customers and looks forward to assisting the Samoan Government with facilitating their repatriation.”

Samoan residents in New Zealand who would like to register for repatriation to Samoa, are encouraged to contact the Samoan Consular in New Zealand.

Air New Zealand asks those already booked on a service for their patience as bookings are worked through.