Handout to Air New Zealand
The New Zealand Government has agreed to subsidize Air New Zealand's flights from Los Angeles to Apia, Samoa. The airline had threatened to withdraw from the route unless the Government of Samoa coughed up some money, effectively wiping out Samoa's only direct access to the North American and European tourism markets. Samoa's Minister of Tourism has promised to do all he can to promote the Apia route, hopefully making the subsidy unnecessary in future. Air New Zealand's weekly flight from Los Angeles to Apia competes well with Hawaiian Airlines service from Hawaii to Pago Pago, American Samoa. Anyone traveling between the mainland U.S. and American Samoa should compare prices and flight times because going via Apia could be cheaper and faster than transiting Honolulu. With Air New Zealand, a stopover in Apia will be free.