22 Jan 2015

Tonga upbeat on proposed air freight option

4:18 pm on 22 January 2015

Tonga's Chamber of Commerce says it's interested in new proposed air freight services to New Zealand.

tail of Air NZ plane with logo

Photo: PHOTO NZ

The need for air freight has been highlighted by Air New Zealand's confirmation it will phase out its Boeing 767-300s on the Tonga-Auckland route.

The carrier currently operates one Boeing 767 and four to five A320 services to Tonga each week, and says it can't confirm which plane will replace the 767s.

Although some in the industry have expressed scepticism, the Vice President of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Aloma Johansson, says the initiative all depends on cost and could boost trade.

"It has a lot of advantages because you have a two-way traffic here and a shorter period of transit. The trading I think, it will enhance the trading between these island states."

Aloma Johansson says even if the Air New Zealand cargo service continues, many businesses have experienced cargo difficulties and high costs in the past.