Guests on Virgin Australia’s first flight to Samoa in three years have received a friendly welcome home, with the flight operated by a proud Samoan crew.
Sydney-Apia and Brisbane-Apia flights took off on 23 March, with both routes operating up to two return flights a week on the airline’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
The all-Samoan cabin crew and First Officer warmly greeted guests, who were also treated to a traditional song during the flight and a cultural welcome upon landing in Apia.
Virgin Australia Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Alistair Hartley said the return was welcome news for travellers across the Pacific.
“There is a strong Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market in Samoa which is why we wanted to mark this occasion with a Samoan crew,” he said.
“It’s an exciting step in the rebuilding of our short-haul international network and comes ahead of our return to Vanuatu later this month.”
Samoa is well-known for its rich culture and friendly locals, and has been a popular destination in the Virgin Australia network since 2005.
Samoa Tourism Authority CEO, Pativaine Petaia-Tevita said the return of Virgin Australia flights from Australia to Samoa is wonderful news for the nation, boosting collective efforts to rebuild and recover Samoa’s visitor economy.
“With a diverse flight schedule, it means more and more travellers will be able to make their way to us to experience Fa`a-Samoa, our beautiful culture and way of life.”
Flights from both Brisbane and Sydney will initially depart in the evening, and from 28 March the Sydney flight will move to a daytime departure.