The newly confirmed government of Samoa is not convinced that adding an in-house B737-800 for Samoa Airways (OL, Apia Faleolo), initiated by the previous administration, is reasonable and has pledged to review the deal, newly installed prime minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa said.

“Essentially, it’s a process that was started by the former government that is in play, although there are still issues that have to be resolved and as those issues are resolved, or other matters come to light, then we will determine where we are exactly with Samoa Airways," she said during a press conference.

Fiame added that the new cabinet has been receiving regular updates about the flag carrier's status-quo in order to determine its current standing as well as future obligations with regards to potential state financing. She underlined that as of now, the government has not taken any decisions as to Samoa Airways' future course of action.

5W-TFL (msn 42805) was ferried from storage and maintenance at Woensdrecht to Brisbane Int'l over the course of July 21-25, 2021, around a week behind the original schedule. Although the authorities said at that time that the required checks and certification procedures would take around a week, the Boeing narrowbody remains at the Australian airport without any firm date for delivery to Samoa.

The state-owned carrier planned to use the aircraft for cargo, repatriation, and medevac flights only as nearly all international travel to and from Samoa remains banned to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to the largely unaffected Pacific island country. It is set to be its first in-house narrowbody aircraft since the retirement of a B737-300 in 2001 (when the airline was still known as Polynesian Airlines (OL, Apia Fagali'i)). Before the pandemic struck, Samoa Airways wet-leased a B737-800 first from Neos (NO, Milan Malpensa) and then Malindo Air (OD, Kuala Lumpur Int'l). It had a contract with Air Lease Corporation for a B737-9 but cancelled it during the MAX's global grounding.

Fiame was confirmed as the Prime Minister of Samoa on July 23 after a lengthy constitutional crisis that was precipitated by the head of state, Tuimalealiifano Va'aletoa Sualauvi II, who had refused to call parliament into session following tightly contested elections in early April 2021. She ousted her party's former leader, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, who had been Samoa's prime minister uninterruptedly since 1998.