China donates two aircraft to Tonga

The 52-seat Xian MA60, comparable in specification to the ATR-72,
is popular with airlines in Asia's developing nations.

China is to donate two aircraft to Tonga to improve domestic air travel.

The Harbin Y12 is similar to the
Twin Otter widely used in the Pacific
The planes, a 17-seater and another carrying 52 passengers, will be built in China at a cost of 20 million US dollars.

Radio Tonga reports the deputy prime minister, Samiu Vaipulu, as saying the planes will connect Ha’apai, Vava’u, Niuatoputapu and ’Eua.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Samiu Vaipulu says that “one of the planes is a Y-12 which can carry 17 passengers. The other aircraft is a MA-60 and can carry 52 passengers.

“These planes will fly to Ha'apai, Vava'u, Niuatoputapu and 'Eua. It's already been confirmed that they can land and take off from every airport in Tonga.”

He says pilots, engineers, stewards and other staff will be recruited, and a training programme start as soon as the new planes arrive in Tonga.

China will provide maintenance expertise for the first three years of the planes flying in Tonga.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International


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