Newly launched Samoa Airways made its first flight from Apia to Auckland this morning.
Among the first passengers to fly on the plane leased from Iceland was Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi.
Auckland mayor, Phil Goff, said in a press conference that this is a proud time for Samoa.
"It's going to be very special to our Samoan community that they can fly back home and to New Zealand on the flag carrying airline of Samoa."
It follows the Samoan Government blocking Virgin Australia from flying the same route last month.
Minister of Samoa Airways Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell said: "This is another opportunity for our people to travel, business to grow and Samoa to grow."
From next Tuesday, November 21, the airline will fly six times a week between Apia and Auckland.
This will increase to daily flights from mid-December.