14 Apr 2009

Good first year for Tonga carrier despite economic downturn

9:03 am on 14 April 2009

The only airline still flying in Tonga says it's had a good first year of operation, despite the economic downturn.

Chathams Pacific, formerly Air Chathams, took over as the second domestic carrier last April but is now the country's sole airline following the collapse of Airline Tonga last August.

The general manager, Russell Jenkins, says the airline's flown about 7-hundred and 50 thousand passengers over the past year.

"This is traditionally the quiet time of the year anyway and our numbers are pretty much the same as they were last year, probably, if anything, the tourist numbers are up very slightly or the ones we are carrying are up very slightly but I guess the proof will be as we come into the busier period which is usually from July through to September/October."

Russell Jenkins of Chathams Pacific.