18 Apr 2014

Tonga signs deals for China to supply new plane

4:41 am on 18 April 2014

Tonga's Deputy Prime Minister, Samiu Vaipulu, has signed agreements with China for a new 17 seater aircraft.

An earlier gift from China, an MA-60 aircraft, sparked controversy with New Zealand placing a ban on it because it lacked the requisite certification.

But Radio Tonga reports that the new Y-12 plane is already certified by the United States, New Zealand and Australia.

The aircraft is intended for services to the outer islands from Tongatapu.

During his current trip to China Mr Vaipulu also signed a memorandum of understanding for the supply of spare parts for the Y-12.

Earlier he discussed terms for China to build a new palace and government office space in Nuku'alofa.