26 Apr 2004

Travellers in Tonga still unclear about whether they will have to buy new tickets to fly home

7:22 am on 26 April 2004

Many passenger trying to fly home from Tonga may have to wait until tomorrow to learn what flights are available and whether they will have to pay for new tickets.

This follows the grounding of Royal Tongan Airlines' only international plane, in Auckland last week, leaving many people stranded in Tonga and in other centres such as Auckland and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

Today is a public holiday in Tonga, but Air New Zealand says its office in Nuku'alofa will be open this morning, so people who are stranded can book a flight home.

But at this stage passengers will have to pay for those tickets.

Royal Tongan Airlines has not yet said what assistance it will be able to provide.