5 Aug 2003

Royal Tongan Airlines considers network extension

5:47 am on 5 August 2003

Royal Tongan Airlines says it is considering a further expansion after announcing a new weekly flight between Auckland and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

The marketing manager, Garry Hamilton, says the airline wants to use the region's new open skies agreement which is to be signed at the Forum meeting in Auckland later this month.

Mr Hamilton says with a single aviation market Pacific things will change.

He says no decision has been made about possible additional routes:

"We are just looking at the other opportunities as I've suggested with the open aviation policy that most countries are signing up to these days. The old days of bilateral arrangements are going by the board, so to a degree the restrictions are coming down but obviously the destinations would have to be commercially viable for Royal Tongan before we would start flying there."

Garry Hamilton.

Last month, Air New Zealand announced it would reduce services to Rarotonga.