On Tuesday the 26th of April the Hon. Prime Minister, Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva delivered the keynote speech to mark the substantial achievements of Tonga Airports Limited (TAL). The extensive work by the TAL culminated in the introduction of the Boeing 777 operations to Tonga and the resumption of international air services to Lupepau’u Airport in Vava’u.
The Kingdom of Tonga will now profit from an increased number of visitors especially during the peak travel seasons and in the future, travelers may benefit from direct long haul flights to destinations such as Los Angeles or Beijing. The Prime Minister stated, “Air transportation has become an essential mechanism in the development and enhancement of economic growth in the Pacific Island states and in Tonga.”
The Tonga Strategic Development Framework (TSDF) aims at prioritizing the upgrade of airports in Tonga which has resulted in the improvement of pavements at Fua’amotu and Lupepau’u Airport under the World Bank funded Pacific Aviation Investment Programme (PAIP), the upgrade of Kaufuna Airport in ‘Eua in 2012 by the Government of New Zealand and taxiway upgrade at Salote Pilolevu Airport in Ha’apai. The Hon. Prime Minister acknowledged the cooperation amongst Government officials, the airport transport industry, civil aviation stakeholders, donor partners and contractors from the private sector who have worked diligently for the substantial advancement of Tonga’s airports.
Also present at the Airport Transport Development Tribute was the Chairman of the TAL Board, Mr. Lisiate. A. ‘Akolo, Director, Mr. Va’inga Palu, Chief Executive Office, Mr. Viliami Ma’ake and officials.