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POLYNESIAN BLUE ANNOUNCES SPECIAL FARE AND BAGGAGE ALLOWANCES TO ASSIST FAMILY MEMBERS TO FLY TO SAMOA
Thursday 1 October 2009: Polynesian Blue, the International Airline of Samoa, has announced a special fare and increased baggage allowance to enable Samoans living in New Zealand and Australia to fly to Samoa to support family members and assist in the clean up following yesterday’s tsunami.
The airline is offering one-way fares from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch to/from Apia for NZ$100 plus taxes (inclusive fares are NZ$128 ex NZ and NZ$113 ex Samoa) and from Sydney or Brisbane to Apia for AU$150 plus taxes (inclusive fares are AU$$219 ex Australia and AU$175.40 ex Samoa), subject to availability.
Extra baggage allowances are also being offered, rising from the standard allowance of 20kg to 30kg* per person. This excess baggage will be carried free of charge, subject to aircraft weight restrictions.
“We also invite those who purchase a ticket to bring additional excess baggage to the airport and we will endeavour to get the additional baggage on board,” said the airline’s General Manager Commercial, Adrian Hamilton-Manns.
The airline said that the next Polynesian Blue flights from Auckland and Sydney to Apia will be tomorrow and that while those flights and others over the next week were full, there were seats available for the following week.
“Anyone already booked on flights over the next week will also have their baggage allowance increased to 30kgs per person, and will also be able to take this excess baggage at no charge and subject to availability.”
Virgin Blue Group CEO Brett Godfrey offered Samoa’s Prime Minister the airline’s support. “This is a very sad time for the people of Samoa and we will do all we can to assist them,” he said. “We know one immediate priority for many family members in New Zealand and Australia is to travel to Samoa to offer their assistance."
The fares are on sale now until 9 October 2009, for outbound travel to Samoa until 16 October 2009 and return flights until 30 November 2009. Changes will be permitted on the return flights at no charge, subject to availability.
The fares are available on the internet, by phone or in person at the Manukau, Auckland ticketing office – the extra $15 normally charged for phone or bookings in person is being waived.
The extra baggage allowances will apply until 16 October 2009.
Both Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue will begin collecting donations on board domestic New Zealand and international flights later today, for those Guests who would like to assist. The funds will be passed directly on to official charities for distribution.
New Zealanders and Australians who would like to assist and donate clothing, blankets, or tinned food can drop donations off at Pacific Blue check-in counters at airports in New Zealand and Australia. The donations will be freighted to Samoa by Polynesian Blue for distribution by government or aid agencies.
* Due to operational requirements, the 30kg allowance is not available from 13 October.
Polynesian Blue is the joint venture airline between Virgin Blue Group and the Government of Samoa. It has five flights a week between Auckland and Apia, three flights a week between Sydney and Apia, and one flight a week between Brisbane and Apia.