TG992
Topic Author
Posts: 2310
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2001 12:03 pm

Royal Tongan Relaunch In Trouble

Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:51 pm

Plans to relaunch Royal Tongan Airlines are in disarray after the collapse of a deal with Royal Brunei, leaving the Pacific carrier without a suitable aircraft.

The Tongan government-owned airline was scheduled to launch daily services next week between New Zealand and Tonga, and weekly flights between Tonga and Australia, using a Royal Brunei B757.

However, the deal is understood to have collapsed.

Prime Minister 'Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV's youngest son, was forced to rush home from French Polynesia to deal with the crisis. The prince is also chairman of Royal Tongan Airlines.

An attempt to launch Royal Tongan failed last year following the collapse of a deal to lease an Air Pacific B737. The carrier then failed in an attempt to lease an Air New Zealand aircraft.
-
 
Marara
Posts: 634
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2001 11:29 pm

RE: Royal Tongan Relaunch In Trouble

Sat Nov 23, 2002 12:06 am

Bugger.

I was looking forward to seeing the 757 in Royal Tongan Colours.


Ahh well. Thanks for keeping us up to date
I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. Jerome K Jerome
 
VirginFlyer
Posts: 3880
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2000 12:27 pm

RE: Royal Tongan Relaunch In Trouble

Sat Nov 23, 2002 12:48 pm

Evidently, the problem has been sorted out, as the 757 has landed in Sydney, on its way to Auckland. This info is coming from the YSSY Message Board over at http://www.acay.com.au/~willt/yssy/enthus/welcome.html

V/F
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
TG992
Topic Author
Posts: 2310
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2001 12:03 pm

RE: Royal Tongan Relaunch In Trouble

Sat Nov 23, 2002 1:21 pm

Yes - WR5000 is scheduled to land in AKL at 1815 tonight, with 55 passengers on board. Registration is V8-RBB. Onward flight to TBU should be departing around 1925, with 40 pax.

Don't know who the pax are, as I believe it's a delivery flight!

I'm glad WR are off the ground again, although I fear they won't last long in today's climate, and with their slightly eccentric future plans.


-
 
VirginFlyer
Posts: 3880
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2000 12:27 pm

RE: Royal Tongan Relaunch In Trouble

Sat Nov 23, 2002 2:09 pm

TG992 - my guess is they are probably Royal Brunei Staff, as the initial arrangement is a wet lease. Perhaps some of them are people going over to try and sort out whatever last minute problems are happening?

V/F
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
aussie_
Posts: 1600
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2000 10:39 am

RE: Royal Tongan Relaunch In Trouble

Sat Nov 23, 2002 2:55 pm

Yes it's all happening. Last minute negotiations and a significant deposit saw the deal go ahead.

Aircraft is in full Royal Tongan livery and apparently looks a treat.
 
VirginFlyer
Posts: 3880
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2000 12:27 pm

RE: Royal Tongan Relaunch In Trouble

Sun Nov 24, 2002 6:44 pm

Here is a picture of the aircraft in WR livery, departing SYD for AKL on its delivery yesterday - thanks Micheil Keegan


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Micheil Keegan



The livery appears to be identical to that carried on Royal Tongan's last jet, ZK-NAF (leased from Air New Zealand)


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Steve King



There is some speculation that the deal may still be on shaky ground; I think for us it is a case of 'watch this space'...

V/F

"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
ZK-NBT
Posts: 4870
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 5:42 pm

RE: Royal Tongan Relaunch In Trouble

Sun Nov 24, 2002 6:51 pm

Was it in AKL today? I was at the airport but didn't see this aircraft, I wasn't in the terminal though.


Cool a 757 to AKL again don't get any regulars.
 
VirginFlyer
Posts: 3880
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2000 12:27 pm

RE: Royal Tongan Relaunch In Trouble

Sun Nov 24, 2002 7:47 pm

NBT - It would have been in AKL yesterday, as it arrived in TBU yesterday evening, apparently.

V/F
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh