Samoa Airways (OL, Apia Faleolo) will not be adding any in-house narrowbody aircraft as the government remains firm in its decision to return the only B737-800 taken earlier this year, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa told the Samoa Observer.

She said that even as Samoa inches toward the long-awaited reopening of its borders planned for August 1, the local market would be sufficiently served by foreign airlines without the need to expand the flag carrier's fleet. The ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows that Samoa Airways' fleet comprises three DHC-6-300s.

2-WTFL (msn 42805), a 7.6-year-old aircraft owned by FLY Leasing, was deregistered in Samoa in March 2022. Even though it was delivered to Brisbane Int'l for final maintenance in July 2021 ahead of a planned late summer service entry, it ultimately never flew to Samoa and remained mothballed in Australia. Mata'afa's cabinet was critical of the lease, which was signed by the previous government in its final days.

Following its deregistration in Samoa, the Boeing narrowbody was ferried to Melbourne Tullamarine on May 5 and subsequently repositioned for storage to Montpellier later in the month.

The aircraft's arrival in Europe signals the failure of a briefly touted plan to reassign the B737 to Air Vanuatu (NF, Port Vila). Prior to the ultimately failed attempt at adding in-house B737-800, Samoa Airways wet-leased a unit of the type under a long-term commitment from Neos Air (NO, Milan Malpensa). It also planned to lease one B737-9 from Air Lease Corporation but cancelled it following the global grounding of the B737 MAX.