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Airlines

Name: ROYAL TONGAN AIRLINES
7JetSet7 Code: FRS
Status: Currently Not Operational
Region: OCEANIA
City: NUKU'ALOFA
Country: TONGA
Employees 140
Web: royaltonganairlines.com
Email: sales@royaltonganairlines.com
Telephone: +676 23 414
Fax: +676 24 056
Sita: TBUZZWR
Background
(definitions)

FORMED IN 1984. FORMERLY "FRIENDLY ISLAND AIRWAYS." SCHEDULED, INTERNATIONAL, PASSENGER & CARGO, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.

ADDRESS:
PRIVATE BAG 9
FATAFEHI ROAD, ROYCO BUILDING
NUKU'ALOFA, TONGA

JUNE 1995: GOVERNMENT AIRLINE.

1 737-300, AIR PACIFIC (APC) LEASED, TO SYDNEY (SYD), & AUCKLAND (AUK).

NOVEMBER 1995: APPLIED FOR SCHEDULED COMBINATION AUTHORITY FOR SERVICE TO HONOLULU (HNL), FROM TANGATAPU, TONGA, SHARING AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ) 767, AUCKLAND (AKL) - TONGA - HONOLULU (HNL). CURRENTLY, SERVES AUCKLAND, SYDNEY, HA'APAI, VAVA'U, NADI, NIUATOPUTAPU, & NIUAFO'OU, USING WET LEASED AIRPLANES, AND OWNED TWIN OTTERS.

JUNE 1997: 133 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 121 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 12 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).

OCTOBER 1997: 1 HS 748-2A (1689), MOUNT COOK LEASED.

APRIL 1998: 110 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 12 MT).

(http://www.kalianet.candw.to/rta). (rtamktng@candw.to).

MAY 1999: 1 737-2Y5, AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ) DAMP LEASED, REPLACES 737-33A (949-23038, ZK-NAF), AIR PACIFIC (APC) LEASED.

JUNE 1999: DHC-6 TWIN OTTER 300 (659) SOLD TO WORLD AVIATION.

NOVEMBER 1999: 1998 = +$644K (NET PROFIT).

1 737-200 (23038), EX-AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ), INDIGO (INZ) 28 MONTH LEASED.

MARCH 2000: VAINGA PALU, GENERAL MANAGER (ACTING), REPLACES JIM BRADFIELD, WHO RESIGNED.

1 737-300, FREEDOM AIR (SPT) WET-LEASED FOR 1 MONTH, WHILE 737-2Y5 (ZK-NAF) IN MAINTENANCE.

APRIL 2000: 110 EMPLOYEES (INCL 12 MT).

(http://www.kalianet.to/rta). SITA: TBUZZWR.

MAIN BASE: TONGATAPU.

MAY 2000: RETURNED B AE 748-2B (1712) TO LESSOR. 1 SD3-60 (SH3693, A3-BFK) DELIVERY (PT6A-65AR), EX-BAHAMASAIR (BAH).

(http://www.tongatapu.net.to/tonga/islands/royalt/default.htm).

AUGUST 2000: B AE HS 748-2A (1712) RETURNED, TO EMERALD AIRWAYS.

SEPTEMBER 2000: 1 DHC-6-300 TWIN OTTER (448, DQ-AFM) LEASED FROM AIR FIJI.

MARCH 2001: GROUNDED BY NEW ZEALAND CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY, DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS. AS A RESULT, THE REMOTE PACIFIC ISLAND OF NIUE, WAS CUT OFF BY AIR FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD, AFTER LOSING ITS ONLY REGULAR AIRLINE SERVICE. IT DID HAVE A WEEKLY 737-200 FLIGHT TO AUCKLAND. TURBOPROP FLTS SERVED A LIFELINE BETWEEN TONGA'S CAPITAL, NUKU'ALOFA AND THE NORTHERN VAVA'U GROUP OF ISLANDS, OF WHICH NIUE, IS ONE WHERE THE 737 OPERATES FROM. TONGA IS SERVED BY AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ), AND AIR PACIFIC (APC).

737-2Y5 RETURNED TO (AFJ).

APRIL 2001: MAIN BASE: TONGATAPU.

September 2002: 140 employees. SITA: TBUZZWR.

1 757-2M6ER, Royal Brunei (RBA) wet-leased.

November 2002: In 12/02, Auckland - Raratonga - Honolulu (weekly).

757-2M6ER deal collapses. Cancels planned daily services to New Zealand.

December 2002: 757-2M6ER (V8-RBB), (RBA) wet-leased for operations Tongatapu to Auckland (6/week) and to Sydney (weekly).

July 2003: 140 employees.

(http://www.flytongan.com). (rtamktg@kalianet.to).

August 2003: 757-2M6 (94-23452, V8-RBA), Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) wet-leased to Royal Tongan Airlines (FRS) for 2 weeks.

November 2003: Has been declared effectively insolvent. The government would have to inject almost $10M to keep the airline operating. Projected losses for the current financial year are estimated at >$6M. Although it had projected a 65% LF (load factor), it had managed only 34% LF.

Is presently the victim of a boycott from commoner (non-royal) politicians in Tonga, following the leakage that the airline is technically insolvent. The boycott is also in protest at recent changes to Tonga's constitution which limit the freedom of the media and give more power to the near absolute ruler, King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.

April 2004: As the flag carrier of Tonga, Royal Tongan Airlines (FRS) operates a scheduled domestic network, together with international services.

(IATA) Code: WR - 971. (ICAO) Code: HRH - TONGA ROYAL.

(http://www.royaltonganairlines.com).

(sales@royaltonganairlines.com).

(FAX: +676 23 559).

Parent organization/shareholders: Tongan government (100%).

Alliances: Air Pacific (APC); & Polynesian Airlines (PLY).

Main Base: Nuku'Alofa.

Hubs: Sydney Kingsford Smith International (SYD); Auckland International (AKL); Honolulu International (HNL); & Nadi International (NAN).

Domestic, scheduled destinations: Eua; Ha'apai; Niuafo'ou; Niuatoputapu; Nuku'alofa; & Vava'u.

International, scheduled destinations: Auckland; Niue; & Sydney.

May 2004: Will not resume international flights and that division will be liquidated. Domestic services, which are profitable, will continue. Later ceased all operations after its sole remaining airplane, a Shorts 360 was grounded for maintenance, which it is unable to pay for.

December 2004: DHC-6-300 (685, A3-FQL), sold to Hawker Pacific.

Fleet:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
FRS-757-2M6
FRS-757-2M6ER

December 2004:

0 737-2Y5 (JT8D-15A) (949-23038, /83 ZK-NAF), EX-(MLT)/(ANZ), (AFJ) 28 MTH LSD 1999-11, GROUNDED 2001-03, RTND (AFJ), TO (SRP). 8C, 105Y.

0 757-2M6ER (RB211-535E4) (100-23453, V8-RBB), (RBA) WET-LSD 2002-12, RTND. 24C, 150Y.

0 757-2M6ER (RB211-535E4) (94-23452, V8-RBA), (RBA) WET-LST 2 WKS IN 2003-08. 24C, 150Y.

1 DHC-6-310 TWIN OTTER (PT6A-27) (448, DQ-AFM), AIR FIJI LSD 2000-09, VISTA LINER, GROUNDED 2001-03, 20Y.

0 DHC-6-300 TWIN OTTER (PT6A-27) (659) ST WORLD AVIATION 1999-06.

0 DHC-6-300 TWIN OTTER (PT6A-27) (685, /80 A3-FQL), ST HAWKER PACIFIC 2004-12. 20Y.

1 B AE 748-2A (DART 534-2) (1689), MT COOK LSD, GROUNDED 3/01, 44Y.

0 B AE 748-2B (1712), RTND 8/00, TO EMERALD AIRWAYS.

1 SD3-60 (PT6A-65AR) (SH3693, /86 AS-BFK), EX-(BAH), 5/00, SHORTS,
GROUNDED 3/01. 36Y.

Management:
(definitions)

LOGAN APPU, MANAGING DIRECTOR & (CEO).

VAINGA PALU, GENERAL MANAGER (ACTING) (2000-03).

SAM FOLAUMORTUI, CHIEF PILOT.

TEVITA PALU, ENGINEERING MANAGER.

 
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