Samoa Airways is finalising an agreement to wet-lease a Boeing 737-800 from Malindo Air to operate its jet routes owing to the global grounding of the 737 MAX fleet.

When it begun operations in November 2017, the carrier used a 737-800 wet-leased from Italian carrier Neos. This aircraft was due to be replaced by a 737 MAX 9 at the end of March, but the global grounding of the fleet has meant that the newly built jet is currently in storage at Boeing Field.

“Our lease with Neos couldn’t be extended and with the global grounding of the MAX 8 aircraft, there is a huge worldwide storage of narrow-body aircraft as airlines scramble to consolidate their schedules using their existing fleets and short-term leases from other operators”, said Samoa Airways chief executive Tupuivao Seiuli Alvin Tuala.

The carrier and Malindo and currently working towards approvals from Samoan, Australian and New Zealand regulators for the new wet-lease, which it hopes to have in place within a few days.

As a result of this, the airline has cancelled a number of flights and re-accommodated passengers on other carriers.

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