23 June 2014

What's Air Chathams' Convair doing in Tonga?

More on Air Chathams' Convair ZK-CIE which flew up to Tonga on the 19th of June...

Tonga’s domestic airline, Real Tonga, has leased a Convair aircraft from Air Chatham, to provide additional capacity for the services to Vava‘u during a current period of high demand for seats. Real Tonga confirmed that the 50-seater Convair arrived in Tongatapu yesterday afternoon from New Zealand, and made its first flight to Vava‘u, where it remained overnight. Real Tonga’s Chief Executive, Tevita Palu said, “we are bringing in the aircraft to provide immediate back-up for our MA60 services between Tongatapu and Vava‘u. We are seeing high demand on these sectors due to the Church conference as well as the preparations for His Majesty’s birthday celebrations in Vava‘u and our tourism season has begun.” In a statement yesterday Real Tonga said that they planned to introduce two Jetstream 32 aircraft into their fleet “as part of their longer-term plans and the Convair will provide support to bridge the gap between now and the introduction of these additional aircraft.” Mele Manuofetoa, Real Tonga Marketing Officer, said that the first of the new 19 seater J32s was expected to come into service within a month, while the second J32 was expected to arrive within the next three months.

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