Real Tonga Airlines is preparing to start direct flights between Tonga and Samoa this month.
The airline's owner Tevita Palu said it will fly its SAAB 340 which seats thirty passengers from Tongatapu to Faleolo Airport outside Apia, via Vavau, in Tonga's northern island group.
Real Tonga Airlines has signed a codeshare agreement with Samoa Airways so the two airlines can share the same flight.
Tevita Palu said he was looking forward to working hand in hand with Samoa Airways, to develop direct air transportation between the two nations and to support tourism growth in the region.
He told the Samoa Observer it had been over a decade since there was any significant commercial capacity between the two Polynesian nations and passengers have had to travel via Fiji or New Zealand at great expense.
He said the direct flights will initially be twice a week, cost about US$400 and only take about an hour and a half.