Repatriation flights

Tonga confirms more repatriation flights in June and July

Four repatriation flights are also scheduled for July 7, 14, 21 and 28.

“There were three repatriation flights arrived last week with stranded passengers including frontliners, government officials, experts, students and seasonal workers from Australia and New Zealand – 90 passengers from Australia, 274 from New Zealand, and 27 from Fiji via Lulutai Airlines”, said Paula Ma’u, Chief Executive Officer for MEIDECC.

The returning passengers from last week’s flights are in quarantine for five days at Tanoa International Dateline Hotel, Kupesi Tonga Hotel and Makeke Camp.

Tonga expects three repatriation flights

Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku confirmed that the flights from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji will arrive with more than 200 Tongan nationals.

All people arriving will be quarantined at the Tanoa Hotel in Nuku'alofa for 15 days.


Tongans overseas get some word on repatriation flights

 A government official has told Matangi Tonga flights from Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji and possibly Samoa have been confirmed tentatively for that date.

A repatriation flight from New Zealand is pencilled in for January 20th.

Last month hundreds of Tongan seasonal workers, stranded in New Zealand, pleaded to be allowed to get home before Christmas.

But the Ministry of Internal Affairs chief executive Fotu Fisiiahi, says the government can only bring them home when it is safe to do so, and it's not ready to do that.

Tonga repatriation flights scheduled next month

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

So far, 3,122 people have been repatriated to Tonga since the border restrictions began in March 2020.

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

The Government has said that once 70% of Tonga’s total population has been fully vaccinated, they will start repatriation flights from high risk countries.


Repatriation remains suspended, Fiji’s COVID-19 situation a high risk to Tonga

According to the NEMC, the Government cannot allow the delta variant to enter Tonga nor take on this high-risk exercise at this point in time.

The committee also clarified that stranded Tongan nationals in Fiji, both in transit and students, are being supported by the Tongan Government with living allowances.

This follows claims by about 20 Tongan nationals stranded in Fiji that they have been neglected by their government.

At this stage, the suitable strategy for those intending to return home is to get vaccinated, the NEMC said in a statement.

PNG hits out at India over broken agreement and unauthorised arrivals

PNG's National Pandemic Response Controller and Police Commissioner, David Manning, alleges India's High Commission in Port Moresby deliberately participated in a deception that resulted in the unauthorised arrivals.

Manning said India broke an agreement on how many passengers were approved for the repatriation flight.

According to him, the proposed repatriation flight from India had been rejected four times due to the risk of Covid-infected arrivals from India

Repatriation flight from NZ to Tonga deferred due to COVID-19 cases

A Tongan government spokesman Paula Ma'u said the deference is until further notice, and all passengers and appropriate authorities were notified earlier this week.

A flight from Pago Pago has also been deferred - the decision was made by American Samoa.

At this stage, only the Vanuatu flight is on scheduled to arrive in Tonga on Wednesday.

As for Fiji, flights remain deferred, due to its COVID-19 situation.


Photo file Caption: Fua'amotu International Airport 


Tonga defers 3 repatriation flights until next month

The flights are scheduled to arrive from Brisbane, Pagopago and Port Vila.

A repatriation flight from Auckland, New Zealand arrived in Tonga with more than 140 passengers yesterday.

The passengers included seasonal workers.

MEIDECC Chief Executive Officer Paula Ma’u said the passengers are being quarantined at Tanoa  Hotel for 21 days.

More than 3000 Tongans have so far been repatriated to Tonga.

The Government is monitoring the situation in Fiji where COVID-19 cases are increasing.

Flights between Tonga and Fiji have been stopped for now.

Government works on repatriating Tongans stuck in Fiji

Borders remain closed and flights between the two countries are prohibited.

Fiji is experiencing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with a little over 10,000 active cases and 50 deaths since April 2021.

The Chief Executive Officer of Tonga’s Ministry of Health, Dr Siale Akauola told the National Emergency Management Committee (NEMC) this week that Tonga is still free from COVID-19 because there are no cases.

According to Dr Akauola, 17 passengers that arrived from Vanuatu on 22 June have been released from quarantine at the Taliai Camp.

300 expected on Tonga repatriation flights

The flights are expected to arrive on 30 June.

According to Chief Executive Officer of MEIDECC Paula Ma’u, another flight scheduled to arrive this week from Vanuatu bringing Tongan students studying in Vanuatu.

The chartered flight is also expected to take Tongan seasonal workers to Australia.


Photo file