The head of Real Tonga Airlines says he hopes extra planes the airline has acquired will encourage more people to travel to Tonga, despite the New Zealand government’s existing travel advisory.
Two Jetstream planes were purchased from Australia, one of which has already begun operation between Tongatapu and the islands of Ha’apai and Vava’u.
Real Tonga is awaiting the arrival of a Y12 plane gifted from China which was delayed in Papua New Guinea.
Tevita Palu says he hopes the additional planes will help boost the tourism industry which has been badly affected by the travel advisory.
“We did all this to try to encourage people to travel to Tonga and to make sure there’s no concern with the safety. But it’s kind of difficult because New Zealand government still has this travel warning and we put other airplanes into our operation to give people options.”
The Chief Executive of Real Tonga Airlines, Tevita Palu.
REALtonga is pleased to announce the newest aircraft into its fleet, the BAe JETSTREAM 32. The J32 is a 19 seat turbo-prop that is expected to improve the service to Ha’apai in terms of product and speed. It will also provide back-up services to Vava’u and more options to the traveling public.
All certification issues have been completed – A BIG Thank you to Dion and the Operations/QA teams and the aircraft is planning to commence commercial operations on the 1st August.
Another addition to the fleet that we are looking forward to is a brand new Harbin Y12E aircraft that has been gifted to our Government by the Government of the People’s Republic of China. A more modern version of the current Y12 in service, Real Tonga passengers can look forward to greater comfort and reliability!