Tonga-Samoa direct flights starts next month
Locally-owned airline Talofa Airways has announced the resumption of direct flights from Samoa to Vava'u in Tonga with the service to start on 14 November 2023.
There will be two weekly flights on Tuesdays and Fridays from Tonga to Pago Pago in American Samoa and from Tonga to Faleolo International Airport in Samoa.
The public has been informed that they can book online with their own preferred travel agent or at any Talofa Airways ticket office. One-way fares for adults start from USD$380 while infants up to 23 months travel for free.
The plans to re-commence direct flights to Tonga were first revealed by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Talofa Airways, Toleafoa Captain Jeffrey Hunter in an interview with this newspaper last week. But Toleafoa did not confirm the dates and flight schedule.
He said the local airline is also considering operating direct flights from Samoa to the French territory of Wallis and Futuna sometime next year.
Last week, the local private airline which started operations in August of 2016 celebrated a milestone with the arrival of its fourth aircraft since its establishment.
The new aircraft was added to the airline's Twin Commander 690B fleet which means that they now have three aircraft to get their flight schedules rolling.
One of its aircraft was involved in an accident after a normal landing at Pago Pago International Airport (American Samoa) and has been out of service since then.
Toleafoa said they are happy to finally have the new aircraft to help with their service, as they no longer have to worry about possible flight disruptions if one of the aircraft develops problems and needs to be serviced.
"We needed this third aircraft to rule out any possibility of having flight disruptions because it affects not only our schedule but also it can have an impact on our travelling public.
"So it's good to have an additional aircraft to assist with the backlog of people wanting to travel between Samoa and the territory without having to worry about any disruptions in schedule.
We've had only two planes in operations that were working every day, except for Sunday and we barely had time to service it on a daily basis.
"We need two planes to cover our schedule every day, and we are now happy to have a third one to be on standby in case one aircraft has any problems.
"With this aircraft, we will not worry about any disruptions and it will ensure that our schedule flows and continues and is convenient for our customers."
The new Aero Commander, while being an addition to the local airline's Twin Commander 690B fleet, is a pressurized high-wing twin turboprop with a rugged design and plenty of power.
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