16 Sep 2004

Tonga releases Fly Niu plane

2:25 pm on 16 September 2004

Tonga's Civil Aviation authorities have released the DASH-200 aircraft of Fly Niu Airlines after the company paid up 7,500 US dollars in outstanding landing fees.

Radio Tonga says the Dash 200 aircraft which Fly Niu operated on domestic flights is being returned to New Zealand's Air National.

The outstanding amount was for August until last Friday.

The plane had been used for three months on flights between Tongatapu, Ha'apai and Vava'u islands.

The airline failed to apply for a licence when the government changed its policy to allow only one domestic carrier, an opportunity seized by a rival airline, Peau Vava'u.

Fly Niu was set up after the collapse of Royal Tongan Airlines left the kingdom without domestic services.