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NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Sept. 22) – Tonga's domestic air service is currently being served by one 50-seat Convair aircraft of the Peau Vava'u Airways, and its twin otter flights are still on hold.

The aircraft began operation on September 16, flying twice a day to Vava'u and Ha'apai, and is replacing a 37-seat Convair aircraft that has serving domestic routes since April 28.

Mosikaka Moengangongo, the Project Manager for Peau Vava’u, said today that the replacement of the Convair 37-seat aircraft was part of the airline’s initial plan to bring a larger aircraft with more seats. Mosi said that apart from the use of a bigger aircraft the service remained the same, and so did the airfares.

Meanwhile, the Peau Vava'u's two DC3 aircraft are still grounded awaiting the completion of the airline’s Air Operators Certificate.

Mosi said that the Peau Vava'u air service to the two Niuas and to the island of 'Eua that was scheduled to start on August 18 was still on hold. She said that the Peau Vava'u was leasing a broken down Twin Otter aircraft from the collapsed Royal Tongan Airline, and work was still carried out on the Twin Otter, but once it was completed and awarded an AOC, by the Tonga Civil Aviation authority, the service would start.

September 23, 2005

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