6 Aug 2014

New 17 seater plane gifted from China arrives in Tonga

9:27 am on 6 August 2014

A new 17-seater Y-12 plane gifted to the Tongan government from China has arrived in Vava'u.

The plane had been delayed in Papua New Guinea over the weekend but it arrived last night.

The government says the aircraft is to be handed over to King Tupou VI by the Chinese Ambassador to Tonga, Mr Huang Huaguang today.

The King is then expected to fly on the Y-12 plane to the Niuas to officiate the 2014 Agricultural Shows.

The Y-12 is the second aircraft to be gifted to Tonga by the Chinese government.

The first gifted plane, the MA60, which is operated by Real Tonga, prompted a travel warning from New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully who claims the plane is not properly certified.

Real Tonga has since purchased two Jetstream planes from Australia to provide more options to passengers.