Real Tonga offers domestic flights throughout the Tongan islands, while Nauru Airlines, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in February, currently services seven countries across the Pacific with its fleet of five aircraft.
Managing Director of Real Tonga Tevita Palu said the new arrangement introduces the commencement of international operations which to date have been serviced by foreign carriers.
“This will be the first time in recent years a local carrier will be able to provide these much needed services, and we expect this will provide an enormous benefit to the Tongan community by providing better connectivity and more capacity,” he explained.
“These new services will benefit tourism and create new employment opportunities for the local community.”
The initial flight schedule will include twice weekly return flights from Nukuʻalofa, Tonga to Nadi, Fiji and Auckland, New Zealand, with the intention of increasing services to three times per week as soon as possible.
Subject to obtaining all necessary government and regulatory approvals, the airlines anticipate that services will commence in November 2019.
Chairman of Nauru Airlines Trevor Jensen said the agreement is testimony to the reputation of Nauru Airlines which is now considered one of the leading carriers in the Pacific.
“We are incredibly excited about this new endeavour and the benefits it will bring to the people of Nauru, Tonga and the Pacific.”
He said plans are already underway to develop services for Real Tonga to other locations including Brisbane and other Australian cities.
The airlines are also working collaboratively towards implementing a closer long-term alliance.