Talofa Air starts new service to Vava’u in Feb. 2017
Apia, SAMOA — Flights from American Samoa to Vava’u, Tonga or Apia to Vava’u, Tonga is a reality for Talofa Air, who received their permit last month, this is according to Talofa Air Chief Executive Officer Toleafoa Captain Jeffrey Hunt. Responding to Samoa News questions, Toleafoa said that the direct flights would kick off in February 2017.
He explained that the reason the service to Vava’u, Tonga does not start until next year is because the permit was issued last month and yet they had already scheduled their flights for the holidays for the Pago Pago- Apia route.
According to Toleafoa, they are currently working on groundwork for the Pago-Tonga/Apia-Tonga in Vava’u, Tonga with other airlines and travel agents. “If the permit came earlier, there would be flights to Vava’u this year, but unfortunately that did not happen and we need time to work on the legwork of things,” said Toleafoa.
He told Samoa News that they applied for their permit to fly to Vava’u in April. “Unless we get the approval, we can’t do any legwork, in terms of advertising and getting a partnership with travel agents in Tonga, that’s why the flight has been delayed until next year, but the good news is, it’s a go and by next year February the flights should be heading to Vava’u.” Pilot and CEO of Talofa Air, said obtaining a permit was a lengthy process not only for Tonga but also with other countries.
Toleafoa said that the direct flights from Pago Pago to Tonga will be a plus for Talofa as there are people who want to holiday in Tonga. According to Toleafoa, their permit for direct flights from Pago Pago to Vava’u has already been approved by United States Department of Transportation.
Meanwhile, he said the Pago, Apia route is going smoothly and their are additional flights to cater to the public. Regarding Manu’a, Toleafoa said they are also looking at flying to Manu’a after the flights to Tonga are steady.
According to Toleafoa, they are looking at adding another airplane to the fleet if the trips to Vava’u demand it, but for the time being, the two twin Commander 690B models and Beechcraft King Air 200 are capable of catering their routes for the moment. He said establishing a route to Vava’u has been only a dream, and now it’s reality.