5 Mar 2013

Tonga's new domestic airline launches its operations

11:56 am on 5 March 2013

Tonga's new domestic airline Real Tonga has launched its operations by chartering a Chathams Pacific aircraft to service the outer islands.

The locally owned and managed airline had secured the lease of two Y-12 aircraft to service the outer islands, and planed to start flying yesterday, however the arrival of one Y-12 aircraft was delayed.

The Chief Executive Officer of Real Tonga, Tevita Palu, told Matangi Tonga the delay in the arrival of the 17-seater aircraft was because of incomplete requirements including certification required by the Pacific Aviation Safety Office.

Mr Palu says the aircraft is expected to arrive in Tonga later this week.

He says despite the delay, Real Tonga began operations as planned and its scheduled flights to the outer islands of Vava'u and Ha'apai have not been disrupted.