1 Sep 2008

Tonga Government trying to figure out extent of financial strife at Airlines Tonga

8:07 pm on 1 September 2008

Tonga's Minister of Transport, Paul Karalus, says the Government is still trying to ascertain how much financial strife Airlines Tonga is in.

The airline has not flown since August 23rd, citing an inability to pay for fuel.

Mr Karalus says that they have been in daily communication with the airline and a tentative deadline has been set for it to come up with a financial plan.

"We will be, as I say, watching carefully and if within a couple of days things have not been achieved, if they haven't come up with some financial plan, then we will have to ask them to consider what further actions they may take. And we'd like that to be done voluntarily at this point in time."

Paul Karalus says its a pity Airlines Tonga has been unable to keep up with its bills, as two airlines competing in the domestic sector is ideal.

He says tourists haven't really been affected as Chatham Pacific Airways continues to fly Tonga's domestic routes.