LIQUIDATOR APPOINTED FOR ROYAL TONGAN AIRLINES

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 14) - Tonga has appointed a liquidator for its flag carrier, Royal Tongan Airlines (RTA).

The airline collapsed in April after its chartered Boeing 757, which flew international services, was re-possessed by Royal Brunei Airlines.

Deputy Prime Minister Clive Edwards says at the time the government's financial involvement was nearly $US6.8 million in capital commitments, bank guarantees and unpaid landing fees.

Tonga's international services are now being provided by Air New Zealand, Air Fiji and Polynesian Airlines.

Matangi Tonga magazine's website says a company, linked to Crown Prince Tupouto'a, has meanwhile chartered a small plane from New Zealand's Pion Air and is flying as Air Waves Vava'u, linking the main Tongatapu Island with Vava'u and Ha'apai islands.

June 15, 2004

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

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