New Tonga Airline Charters Plane From Chathams Pacific

admin's picture

Real Tonga Y-12 delayed coming over from Vanuatu

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, March 4, 2013) – Tonga's new domestic airline Real Tonga began operation today by chartering a Chathams Pacific aircraft to service the outer islands, after the arrival of its Y-12 aircraft was delayed from Vanuatu..

The locally owned and managed airline had secured the lease of two Y-12 aircrafts to service the outer islands, and planed to start flying on Tonga on March 4.

Tevita Palu, the Chief Executive Officer of Real Tonga said today that the delay in the arrival of its 17-seater aircraft was from Vanuatu and due to a need to complete requirements that included its certification as required by the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO). He expected the aircraft to arrive in Tonga later this week.

"Despite the delay, Real Tonga began operations today as planned, and our scheduled flights to the outer islands of Vava'u and Ha'apai were not disrupted, although it was delayed due to the rainy weather," he said.

Tevita said that Real Tonga opted to charter a 17-seater aircraft from the Chathams Pacific to service the flights today. "We will continue to charter their aircraft to carry out our scheduled flights until the arrival of our aircraft, hopefully this week," he said.

A second aircraft is expected to arrive on March 28 to start service on April 1.


Meanwhile, Noel Gillespie, the General Manager of Chathams Pacific confirmed this afternoon the airline had ceased their domestic services on Saturday afternoon, March 2.

He said they were approached by Real Tonga to charter their 17-seater aircraft due to the delay in the arrival of its aircraft from Vanuatu.

"We have let go of all our staff, our pilots are ready to return home, and the company is winding up but we will keep our hangar open," he said.

Chathams Pacific of New Zealand announced in January, it would discontinue its scheduled domestic air services in Tonga on March 2, after less than five years operation, due to a loss of business confidence, after the Tonga government moved to procure aircraft from China.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment