19 May 2004

Tongan airline struggles for survival

1:23 pm on 19 May 2004

A Tongan pro-democracy MP Akilisi Pohiva says Royal Tongan Airlines may be wound up.

The two planes providing a domestic service have been grounded amid reports they are waiting on parts, but the Tonga Broadcasting Corporation reports RTA as saying it cannot operate without a multi million dollar capital injection.

It reports the airline as saying it was on track for an unprecedented profit until last month's collapse of the international service.

The government announced earlier this week that the international service was now officially shut down and Akilisi Pohiva says the Finance Minister has said the domestic service could go the same way without outside investment.

"I think the government is now considering the possibility of officially closing down the local flight and looking for a possibility of re-opening again in the future but I think the government needs some people in contributing to the opening of our local flight. Government i still working in that."