Samoa Airways (OL, Apia Fagali'i) is looking at adding B737 MAX aircraft to its fleet in the future Samoan Minister for Public Enterprises, Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell, has said.

In a statement confirming the delivery of its maiden aircraft, a B737-800 which is wet-leased from Italy's Neos (NO, Milan Malpensa) through a deal brokered by Icelandair unit Loftleidir Icelandic, for November 12, Purcell said Samoa Airways was already looking ahead at future capacity requirements.

"Down the line, we hope to lease or acquire a 737 MAX aircraft by 2019 to expand Samoa Airways services to other destinations such as Melbourne Tullamarine and Brisbane Int'l in Australia,” he said.

Once Samoa Airways' operations have stabilized, Purcell said the plan is to transition the lease from wet to dry. This period of time, he said, will allow the airline to train up the requisite Samoan personnel needed to man the aircraft.

“So far everything is falling in place as we look forward to the return of our new branded national carrier to international services as planned,” he added.

As the successor to Virgin Samoa (PBL, Apia Faleolo), Samoa Airways will commence operations on Tuesday, November 14, with a 6x weekly Apia Faleolo-Auckland Int'l route as well as a 2x weekly Apia-Sydney Kingsford Smith service.