GOVERNMENT OF TONGA

MEDIA RELEASE

(19 February, 2016)

“Government ensured that Vava’u is ready for the Fiji Link (Fiji Airways) operation into Lupepau’u International Airport.”

The Government has ensured that all the necessary work for the start of the Fiji Airways operation into Lupepau’u International Airport, Vava’u scheduled to start on the 2nd of April, 2016 are set up and in place.

The work started when Fiji Link/Fiji Airways submitted an application to Tonga’s Civil Aviation Division, Ministry of Infrastructure to include Vava’u as a destination in Tonga after it received approval from Civil Aviation Authority Fiji (CAAF). Tonga’s Civil Aviation Division (CAD) then conducted the relevant assessments and approved this application in December 2015. In conjunction with this assessment, the Civil Aviation Division also conducted an assessment on Lupepau’u International Airport to determine whether it meets the requirements for international operations. Tonga Airports Limited (TAL) was also issued with the Aerodrome Operator Certificate in December 2015.

The proposed arrangement for Nadi/Vava’u is accommodated under the 2008 Memorandum of Understanding for Air Services between Tonga and Fiji Governments. The Fiji Airways service to and from Nadi, Fiji to Vava’u, Tonga will be twice weekly using Fiji Link’s ATR 72-600 aircraft.

The Ministry of Revenue and Customs is also prepared to provide the appropriate services such as customs and immigrations services at the airport to ensure the security of the borders and legal entry of passengers into Tonga.

This new operation will also be beneficial to the Tourism Sector in Tonga especially for Vava’u. The Acting Chief Executive Office for Tourism, Dr Palenitina Langa’oi has said that this direct link to Vava’u from Fiji will only bring more tourists to Vava’u and will help boost the Vava’u economy.  The Ministry of Tourism will continue to make sure that the services for tourists in Vava’u are up to standard to cater for this increase.

 

-ENDS-

 

Issued by the: The Prime Minister’s Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Tel: (676) 24 644     Fax: (676) 23 888; For media enquiries- Email: pressoffice@pmo.gov.toWebsite: www.pmo.gov.to

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