19 May 2004

Royal Tongan Airlines halts all domestic flights

11:09 am on 19 May 2004

Royal Tongan Airlines says the non availability of spares and maintenance requirements has forced it to cancel all domestic services.

The Tonga Broadcasting Corporation reports that both the airlines domestic aircraft, a DHC6 Twin Otter and a Short 360 require critical spares as part of their scheduled maintenance and repair programme in order to gain airworthiness certificates.

The announcement comes on top of the closure of the international operations of its national carrier.

Last month, Royal Brunei Airlines repossessed the Boeing 757 Royal Tongan Airlines has been using for flights to Sydney, Rarotonga, Auckland and Honolulu.

Tonga will now rely on international services by Air New Zealand, Polynesian Airlines, Air Pacific and Air Fiji.