19 Dec 2016

Tonga Airways cancels planned domestic service

3:01 pm on 19 December 2016

Tonga Airways has cancelled plans for a domestic air service after it failed to win ministerial approval.

Sign at Vava'u airport in Tonga

Vava'u airport. Photo: RNZI

The airline had planned to start a twice-weekly service between Vava'u and Tongatapu using a chartered Fiji Airways aircraft from today.

But Tonga Airways' chief executive, Samiu Vaipulu, said the minister for civil aviation has failed to give his approval.

Mr Vaipulu said having invested a lot into developing a second air service for Tonga, he's had to make arrangements to refund about 200 tickets that have been sold for the service.

He said the ministry had expressed its support for the service, but was informed only last week that the minister, Semisi Sika, would not give his approval.