4 Apr 2012

China donates two aircraft to Tonga

12:52 pm on 4 April 2012

China is to donate two aircraft to Tonga to improve domestic air travel.

The planes, a 17-seater and another carrying 52 passengers, will be built in China at a cost of 20 million US dollars.

Radio Tonga reports the deputy prime minister, Samiu Vaipulu, as saying the planes will connect Ha'apai, Vava'u, Niuatoputapu and 'Eua.

He says pilots, engineers, stewards and other staff will be recruited, and a training programme start as soon as the new planes arrive in Tonga.

China will provide maintenance expertise for the first three years of the planes flying in Tonga.