REALtonga Airlines Flights To Nausori International Airport To Be A Hit Say CEO

The arrival of the inaugural REALtonga Airlines flight to Nausori International Airport yesterday, presented an exciting new chapter and new possibilities. In terms of mutual collaboration to develop trade and
30 Jul 2019 18:17
REALtonga Airlines Flights To Nausori International Airport To Be A Hit Say CEO
From left: Rosie Travel Group general manager Eroni Puamau, REALtonga Airlines chairman Vaiga Palu, REALtonga Airlines chief executive officer Tevita Palu, and Fiji Airports Manager Airport Landside Operations and Customer Services Joe Gray after the inaugural REALtonga Airlines flight from Fua’amotu International Airport, Nuku’alofa, Tonga, arrived at Suva’s Nausori International Airport on July 29, 2019. Photo: Rosie Travel Group

The arrival of the inaugural REALtonga Airlines flight to Nausori International Airport yesterday, presented an exciting new chapter and new possibilities.

In terms of mutual collaboration to develop trade and tourism partnership between Fiji and Tonga.

The flight serviced by a REALtonga Airlines Saab 340B brought in 12 VIPS and 12 other passengers from Fua’amotu International Airport, Tonga.

The airline will service the route every Monday.

Chief executive officer of REALtonga Airlines Tevita Palu said: “This is an inaugural flight, we enjoyed the flight today. So instead of going via Nadi which used to take one day of travel, people can now opt to travel via Nausori which will only take one hour 40 minutes.

“This flight will operate every Monday morning. We are already looking to have a second service to Suva sometime soon.

“We are looking forward to offering a good service for the people of Fiji and Tonga.”

Rosie Travel

Rosie Travel Group general manager Eroni Puamau while welcoming the Tongan delegation said: “This mutual interest in commerce between our nations was forged way back in the early 1800s when Tongan traders would visit our islands to trade their stunning tapa and fine mats for our Fijian handicrafts and ocean canoes.

“The arrival of this inaugural REALtonga Airlines flight is an exciting new chapter of new possibilities in our mutual collaboration to develop our trade and tourism partnership.

“Chairman and Reverend Palu, we congratulate you and your team for your courage and determination in making this dream a reality not just for your REALtonga Airlines but also for the people and the Kingdom of Tonga!.

“I have found….that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks!

“We admire your courage and most of all, your faith in believing in your mission to connect Tonga to Fiji and the world through your airline,” said Mr Puamua.

REALtonga is planning to expand its service even further to Nadi through its wet-lease arrangement with Nauru Airlines.

Under this the Nauru flag carrier will provide a Boeing 737-300 wide bodied aircraft for flights from Tongatapu to Nadi to Auckland International Airport, New Zealand.

These flights will be introduced by late October and it will include 2x weekly flights, with the intention to increase to 3x weekly as soon as possible.

REALtonga already operates a weekly Tonga-Samoa-Tonga flight as well as domestic services between Tonga’s main islands.

Mr Palu stated this new arrangement with Nauru Airlines introduces the start of broader international operations for Tonga which to date have been dominated by foreign carriers.

The inaugural flight fare Nuku’alofa -Suva-Nuku’alofa was $800 return but would revert back to $900 soon.

The Tongan delegation was led by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Kingdom of Tonga, Lord Fatafehi Fakafanua, accompanied by the chairman of REALtonga Airlines,  Vainga Palu, REALtonga Airlines managing director Reverend Tevita Palu, Executives of REALtonga Airlines.

Also in attendance were the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Fiji  Airports personnel.

REALtonga and Fiji Airways codeshare background

In July, 2015, REALtonga and Fiji Airways had entered into a codeshare partnership which saw our national carrier extend its services from Nuku’alofa to Vava’u, Tonga.

This codeshare arrangement provided vital connections between Vava’u and Nadi (weekly) and Suva (twice weekly) via Nuku’alofa.

Tourism partnership programme

Meanwhile, Rosie Holidays is very excited to be working with REALtonga Airlines to develop a tourism partnership programme that will look to create joint opportunities to market our mutual destinations throughout our international distribution network.

Mr Puamua said: “Rosie has been working directly with tourism operator partners in the Tongan tourism industry for a number of years and we see this collaboration with Real Tonga Airlines as a significant step up in our focus in building our Pacific partnership program.

“What is exciting about Tonga is the authenticity and uniqueness of your experiences, the friendliness of your people and your proximity to Fiji which makes for the perfect combination of island experiences with Fiji.

“Access to market is an important factor for success and this is something we are very keen to build on our mutual promotion with your REALtonga Airlines to bring new markets to your shores.

“We also believe that tourism is a force for good!

“Beyond the exciting opportunities for market development, we see tourism as a key generator of much needed foreign exchange and employment to both our economies and especially for Tonga.

“And this is why we need this new service to succeed!

“We look forward to working with your Government, with Tevita and the team at REALtonga Airlines and your tourism industry in Tonga to develop and grow our mutually rewarding partnership so that we can all realise this dream of making our nations great through tourism and trade,” Mr Puamau said.

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