Real Tonga Airlines Deputy CEO Tele Faletau said today a regional service to Samoa should be up and running by August.

And he said that tickets would be less than TP$874.

He made the remarks after a Real Tonga Bae Jetstream turboprop airliner landed in Faleolo International Airport after an 80 minute flight from Vava’u.

Faletau, who is also General Manager Commercial for the Tongan airline, said flying to Samoa had always been a primary goal of the airline’s regional expansion.

“We’re brothers, and we haven’t had any direct services for more than 10 years,” he said.

The Real Tonga test flight brought a delegation of more than 20 employees who were met by a delegation of Polynesian Airlines staff, including Chief Executive Officer Seiuli Alvin Tuala.

Real Tonga was looking to develop a relationship with the Samoan carrier, Polynesian airlines.

Faletau said Samoa and Tonga were next-door neighbours and it made sense for them to work together.

“We’re very happy to be discussing a code share with Polynesian Airlines so that will be a joint Polynesian Airlines and Real Tonga,” he said.

While Polynesian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Seiuli Alvin Tuala declined to comment on the negotiations, Faletau was optimistic about the possibilities.

He said there many Tongans in Samoa and Samons in Tonga, but at the moment they had to take a long and expensive route home via Fiji or New Zealand.

He said a direct flight from Vava’u would be much cheaper, with airfares  below TP$874 (WST1000/ NZ$540)

A ticket between Vava’u to Nuku’alofa with Real Tonga varies from TP$341.50 to TP$381.50.

Real Tonga already has an agreement with Fiji Airways to extend its services to have offer a weekly connection between Vava’u and Nadi via Nuku’aofa.

In a further sign of growing regional airline co-operation, Polynesian Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding with Fiji Airways earlier this week.

The main points

  • Real Tonga Airlines Deputy CEO Tele Faletau said today a regional service to Samoa should be up and running by August.
  • And he said that tickets would be less than TP$874.
  • He made the remarks after a Real Tonga Bae Jetstream turboprop airliner landed in Faleolo International Airport after an 80 minute flight from Vava’u.
  • Faletau, who is also General Manager Commercial for the Tongan airline, said flying to Samoa had always been a primary goal of the airline’s regional expansion.

For more information 

Real Tonga Airlines touches down

New agreement to provide vital connection between Nadi and Vava’u

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