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Flights to American Samoa remain suspended despite calls for repatriation

Regional News
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PAGO PAGO  (RNZ Pacific/Pacnews) — The suspension of Hawaiian Airlines flights to American Samoa will continue until at least the end of October.

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga said the decision had been made because the Covid-19 pandemic in Hawai'i and the U.S mainland was getting worse.

Lolo told a recent cabinet meeting he and his family had received unpleasant calls from people unhappy they were being prevented from getting home.

A group pushing for repatriation flights, Tagata Tutu Faatasi Alliance of American Samoa, claims there are 400 American Samoans stuck across continental U.S and Hawai'i.

Lolo said despite the frustration, the decision was for the good of the whole territory.

He apologized to stranded residents saying he understood the difficult predicament they were in however the main responsibility of leaders was to protect those in the territory.

The governor asked for prayers so that the time would come when the pandemic abated enough for travel to be restored so people could return home.

American Samoa remains the only part of the U.S to have zero coronavirus cases.

Other than a medical charter in July, the last passenger flight from Honolulu to Pago Pago was on  March 26.

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