26 Mar 2012

Air New Zealand adds extra flight to Tonga for state funeral

11:48 am on 26 March 2012

Air New Zealand has put on an extra flight from Auckland to Tonga this morning, due to high demand ahead of the state funeral of King George Tupou the Fifth.

A spokesperson for Air New Zealand says its Saturday and Monday flights were sold out by Friday and an extra service was added for this morning.

The chair of the Tonga Advisory Council, Melino Maka, says the Tongan community has welcomed the extra flight.

Mr Maka says he expects everyone from New Zealand who wants to attend the funeral of the late king tomorrow will now be able to.

But he says there are concerns that some people in Australia won't be able to attend, after the date of the funeral was moved from Wednesday to Tuesday.