Repatriation flights

Tonga schedules more repatriation flights

Authorities expect 255 passengers to arrive from Auckland and Brisbane.

The Latter Day Saints Church has chartered a Lulutai Airlines flight to Fiji on 1 April to bring church members and some of the Tongans stranded there.

MEIDECC CEO Paula Mau said 102 passengers will come on the flight from NZ.

Ninety of those passengers were supposed to have returned on an earlier flight on 3 March but did not due to the recent lockdown in NZ.

Twenty-five passengers will arrive from Fiji and 128 from Australia.

3 Tonga repatriation flights scheduled next week

According to MEIDECC Chief Executive Officer, Paula Ma’u, 247 passengers are expected to arrive on flights from Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.

Eighty people are listed to fly in from Nadi, 101 passengers from Auckland and 66 from Brisbane.

A total of 1,731 people have been repatriated to Tonga since July 2020.

Up until Wed this week, total number that have registered on the Government’s repatriate website to return to Tonga stood at 2, 795.

More than 100 seasonal workers left Tonga on a chartered flight for Australia yesterday (Thursday).

Tonga repatriation flights scheduled for 3 March

The repatriation flights are from Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.

MEIDECC Chief Executive Officer, Paula Ma’u said the repatriates will be quarantined at Tanoa International Hotel and Makeke Camp in Vaini.

Passengers on the flight from Fiji include Tongan nationals who were in India, Friendly Island Shipping Agency crew members, Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and students who studied abroad.

All the passengers have completed quarantine requirements in Fiji and are waiting return to Tonga.

Tonga awaits arrival of two repatriation flights

The first repatriation flight for 2021 will arrive in Tonga from Apia, Samoa at around 12:30pm (local time) with 29 passengers.

The travelers are Tongan citizens, who were stranded in Samoa due to the closure of borders during the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The Lulutai Airlines aircraft will repatriate 21 Samoans who will arrive on another flight from New Zealand on the same day.  

The flight from Auckland will arrive around 1:45pm (local time) with 219 passengers onboard.

Tonga repatriation flights to resume

A flight with about 280 passengers from Auckland, New Zealand is expected to arrive on 14 January.

That flight is expected to include 21 people from Samoa who will be repatriated separately on the same day on a Lulutai Airlines flight.

According to a government statement, a charter flight will arrive from Sydney Australia on 22 January  to fly out 152 seasonal workers back to Australia.

Tonga prepares for repatriation flights from New Zealand and Australia

The flight from New Zealand is scheduled for 19 November and the one from Australia is due to arrive on 24 November.

According to a travel advisory only Tongan citizens and permanent residents can enter Tonga at this time.

Most international flights have been cancelled, and options to leave are extremely limited.

A state of emergency is in force and activities are restricted to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Meanwhile 251 repatriated passengers that arrived from Australia and New Zealand last week have tested negative for Covid-19.

Tonga prepares for two repatriation flights

A chartered flight will bring home more than 80 nationals from Brisbane, Australia on Thursday.

The chartered flight is paid for by RSE employers in Australia to bring back RSE employees and stranded passengers in Brisbane.

Another commercial flight from Auckland New Zealand is also scheduled to arrive on Friday with more than 120 stranded nationals and RSE employees.

According to the CEO for Health Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola the number of passengers depends on the availability of rooms in the quarantine facilities.

Solomon Airlines plans repatriation charter flights to Vanuatu, Tonga and Australia

A statement said the airline has sought the approval of the Solomon Islands Government and the relevant foreign governments.

The airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft, currently based in Brisbane, will first operate Flight IE614 from Honiara to Port Vila and Tongatapu departing at 8.00am from Henderson International Airport and arriving in Port Vila at 10.00am local time. Flight IE614 will then re-depart at 11.00am landing in Tongatapu at 3.25pm local time.

PM confirms Cabinet has no choice but to repatriate Tongans stranded overseas

He confirmed this in Parliament. 

PM Tu'i'onetoa said Cabinet has no choice but to bring back our people.

He said Tongans have been away too long from home.

“Tonga is where their hearts are, their home, and where their loved ones stay.” 

PM Tu'i'onetoa said the Cabinet's decision will have both positive and negative impacts on Tonga but this is the Government's choice. 

He said Tonga is likely to close its borders until 2021, while at the same time, repatriates its people back home. He also mentioned there are risks involved but this must be done.

Tonga to start repatriation of stranded residents

This is a flight from Fiji and expected to bring 40 Tongans.

Repatriation flights from New Zealand are planned for the first week of August, but discussions between the two governments are still ongoing.

The Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa said in a radio broadcast that they had done two drills on how to handle those repatriated, and they were confident that proper testing and quarantine procedures would prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus from those arriving in Tonga.