Samoa Airways to lease Boeing 737 MAX 9

Computer rendering: © Samoa Airways

Samoa Airways has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US-American lessor Air Lease Corporation (ALC) to lease one Boeing 737 MAX 9. The aircraft is expected to be delivered in March 2019.

The state-owned flag carrier of Samoa, which was established in 1959 as Polynesian Airlines, is set to become the first airline in the South Pacific Region, including New Zealand and Australia, to operate the new 737 MAX 9 airplane. The aircraft will be configured with 16 Business Class seats and 173 seats in Economy Class.

Samoa Airways’ current fleet consists of one Boeing 737-800 jet, which has been wet-leased from the Italian charter airline Neos. Once the Boeing 737 MAX 9 arrives, the carrier plans to return its current 737-800. A second aircraft is expected to follow in June 2019, but type and lessor were not disclosed.

The new Boeing 737 MAX will operate between its hub at Apia Faleolo International Airport and Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane. Flights between Samoa and American Samoa are operated by the airline’s 19-seat Twin Otter planes.