15 Oct 2002

Niue to seek continued Tonga air service

11:19 am on 15 October 2002

The Niue Government is sending a delegation to Nuku'Alofa to try and persuade Royal Tongan Airlines to continue flying to the island.

RTA has been providing Niue's only airlink, using a 20 seater turbo-prop service to Nuku'Alofa twice a week.

But this link will finish on October 28th when Samoa's Polynesian Airlines begins a direct jet service to Auckland.

The Niue Government wants RTA to continue with one flight a week, but a spokesman for the Tongan airline says it cannot justify such a service.

He says it would be able to send one plane a month.

The spokesperson says RTA had also been considering a jet service to Niue.

Meanwhile the Premier of Niue, Young Vivian, says the island is not restricted to 40 seats per flight on the Polynesian service as had been suggested.

And Mr Vivian says Polynesian may run additional flights through December with some of the flights already booked out for the Christmas period.