Has Lulutai bought replacement Canadian Twin Otter to maintain its inter-island services?

Tonga’s troubled Lulutai airlines has bought a new aircraft, according to reliable sources.

Kaniva News understands the airline has bought a 19-seat DeHavilland Canada Twin Otter for US$6.5 million.

We have contacted Lulutai’s CEO, Poasi Tei, for confirmation.

We have asked him who is funding the purchase of the aircraft and when it will arrive in Tonga.

It is understood that in May this year Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade awarded a contract to support a Twin Otter in Tonga.

Twin Otters have an extremely good reputation and have been used widely in the Pacific.

The Kiribati government bought one in February through an American company and it appears the deal may have been supported by the US government.

According to Kaniva New’s sources, a Twin Otter is being prepared and is expected to arrive in Tonga soon.

It is understood that earlier this year,  Lulutai CEO Tei was enquiring about the possibility of acquiring a Twin Otter for a three to six months lease.

Micro operators such as Lulutai normally seek a package known as a wet lease that includes an aircraft, crew,  maintenance and insurance. However, Tonga’s financial position is likely to affect its chances of securing an aircraft without external funding guarantees.

Kaniva News believes that two Twin Otters were identified as available for sale for US$6.4m each in March.

About The Author

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img

Latest news

Related news