The sad news has been announced that Chathams Pacific is to cancel its domestic services in Tonga from 3 March 2013 following the announcement that the Tonga Government are to create a new airline in direct competition.
In a press release on the Chathams website, its owner explains how there is not enough of a market to support two airlines, and so with regret he will close his operation’s domestic services.
Chathams Pacific was founded to help provide such services, and operates a fleet including the Douglas DC-3, Convair 580, Fairchild Metro, and Beech Queen Air. The airline gets a mention in our Last Chance to Fly book because it is amongst the last operators of passenger DC-3s and CV-580s anywhere in the world.
The new airline is being sponsored by the Chinese Government, who are providing crew training and MA-60 and Y-12 turboprop aircraft for the operation.
It is unclear whether international links to New Zealand will still be flown by Chathams.