Repatriation flight

Repatriation flight passengers isolating

The passengers from New Zealand, Australia and Fiji are in quarantine in three hotels or at home.

It's been two years since the repatriation flights began in July 2020.

Tonga's new open border policy has two incoming flights from New Zealand and Fiji each week and one from Australia until August 29 when there will be three flights a week from New Zealand.

The plan is for six flights a week from New Zealand starting in November.

A negative Covid test and proof of vaccination is required to enter Tonga from Monday.

Tonga to finalise repatriation flights

The recommendations will then go to Cabinet for consideration.

Repatriation flights have been scheduled to arrive in Tonga on 18 January from Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji and, possibly, Samoa.

A repatriation flight from New Zealand is also tentative for 20 January.

Tonga Health officials have confirmed that 3,122 people have been repatriated since the border restrictions began in March 2020.

The last repatriation flight to Tonga from New Zealand arrived on 27 October with 215 passengers.



Tonga repatriation from Christchurch planned for 27 October

CEO for MEIDECC, Paula Ma’u said that this will be a direct flight to Tonga with about 300 passengers.

The majority of the passengers are seasonal workers (RSE) from the South Island. Some are Tonga's Olympians and officials and others, he said.

Meanwhile, repatriation flights from Auckland have been deferred until further notice, due to the COVID-19 community transmission in the region.

The last repatriation flight from New Zealand to Tonga was in July


Photo file  Caption: Fua'amotu International Airport      

Repatriation flight to Tonga postponed by a month

In a statement, Tongan officials said the Australian Government was looking into using another airport to enable travel between Australia and Tonga, due to the situation in Brisbane.

Matangi Tonga online said the authorities were hoping for no more delays to repatriation flights after this postponement.

The New Zealand government was looking into the possibility of allowing one-way quarantine free travel for passengers arriving from Tonga, Samoa, and Vanuatu, possibly starting in September, Tonga confirmed.

First Australian repatriation flight from India lands in Darwin

The government said 80 people arrived in Darwin on Saturday, and would be quarantined for a fortnight.

Their Qantas flight was originally scheduled to carry 150 people onboard.

But 70 passengers were later barred from travel after testing positive for coronavirus or coming into close contact with others who were.

Australia's strict rules on pre-flight testing meant there was not enough time for the seats to be given to others waiting to return.

Australia to resume repatriation flights from India

The government's controversial ban, which made it an offence for people to try and re-enter Australia after being in India within the prior 14 days, began on Monday and was due to finish on 15 May.

Morrison said the National Security Committee met yesterday and agreed it saw "no need to extend it beyond that date".

"The original decision to put in place that biosecurity order until the 15th of May has proved very effective and it will run its full course until that time without any change," he said.

Tongan LDS missionaries stranded overseas on repatriation flight

Tongan Government official, Paula Mau had earlier this week said that the church chartered a Lulutai Airlines aircraft to repatriate the missionaries as well as Tongans stranded in Fiji 

The missionaries travelled to Fiji from their missions and waited for a month for their flight home.

They spent two weeks in quarantine and two weeks with the Fiji Suva Mission missionaries.

The missionaries speak French, Spanish, German, Georgian (Russia) English and Tongan.

Tonga postpones repatriation flight from New Zealand

The decision was made following a meeting between the National Emergency Management Committee and the committee that oversees Covid-19-related matters.

Repatriation flights expected from Australia and Fiji will arrive as scheduled.

Tonga’s Cabinet confirmed that all repatriates must be quarantined for 21 days.


Photo file      

Tongans to be repatriated

Tonga's head of government communication said a flight from New Zealand was scheduled to arrive tomorrow with passengers including stranded Tongans and seasonal workers.

Paula Ma'u said a separate flight tomorrow to Fiji would repatriate consultants working on a Tonga Renewable Energy Project, along with students and passengers from Fiji.

Meanwhile, a repatriation flight from Australia with 120 passengers is being planned for next Thursday.



Photo file      

Tongan seasonal worker thrilled to be going home at last

Sefita Veamatahau says the news that he and dozens of others are heading home tomorrow is indescribable.

“I’m thrilled and I can’t explain my feelings. I’m very excited to go home,” he says.

"I have a wife and a son that I haven’t seen in a very long time.”

Veamatahau has spent two Christmases away from home since arriving in New Zealand in October 2019, and is looking forward to spending time with his family. 

He's one of seventy Tongan seasonal workers who will be on that flight to Tonga tomorrow.