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“HRH Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala commissioned the new Lulutai aircraft”

17 November 2023

Nuku’alofa- His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala and Crown Princess, Sinaitakala Tuku’aho were Guest of Honours at the commissioning of the new Lulutai aircraft at the Fua’amotu Domestic Airport, this morning.

Today we are adding a third aircraft to Lulutai Airline’s fleet and there is potential for additional aircraft in the near future,” the Hon Prime Minister, Hu’akavameiliku told guests during his key note address.

The Twin Otter is well suited for Tonga’s outer islands. The aircraft has short takeoff and landing capabilities. The Twin Otter will be at ease in the dirt and grass airports of the two Niuas, as well as the short runway in ‘Eua. It can easily handle the high altitude runway in Vava’u and the low sea level airport in Ha’apai.

The Hon Hu’akavameiliku acknowledged the commitment of the Government of Australia, to Tonga’s economic development.

“Your Excellency Racheal Moore, without your Government’s financial and technical support, today would not have been possible. The commissioning today is a significant milestone in the Tonga Australia relationship, and a project that will continue to provide benefits for many years to come not just for Tongans but also for visitors to our shore.”

Lulutai Airlines began operations with two (2) aircraft in September 2020 in the middle of the covid 19 pandemic. Tonga in 2022 experienced the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai natural disaster, where Lulutai cancelled all flights to show how safety came first.

The commissioning program was also attended by Ministers of the Crown, Members of Parliament, Australian High Commissioner Rachael Moore and members of Diplomatic Corps, Church Leaders, Aviation Stakeholders and guests.

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