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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Samoa Air To Assist With Domestic Flights In Tonga
Proposed service subject to final government approval

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 26, 2013) – The chief executive of Samoa Air, Chris Langton, says its new service from Samoa to northern Tonga will help fill a gap in Tonga’s domestic services.

The airline is planning a weekly service from Upolu to Niuatoputapu and Vava’u, linking with Niuafo’o in the northwest every second week.

The new service comes as Chathams Pacific prepares to pull out of Tonga and the Kingdom awaits delivery of a 60 seater aircraft gifted from China

Mr. Langton says the new service is still subject to final Tongan government approval.

"With the change in situation there, it’s left a little bit of a void in the northern islands so it’s tended to work out that our offer to operate the island connections is going to work in pretty well with, as we understand it, Tonga’s domestic plans for the future."

Chris Langton expects three quarters of seats on the Tongan sections to be filled by domestic traffic and the rest tourists.

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