Possible partner in Tonga-Brisbane direct flight under investigation by Australian authorities

    ‘Oku lolotonga fakatotolo’i ‘e he Ma’umafai ki he Folau Vakapuna Sivile ‘a ‘Aositelēlia’ ‘a e Kautaha Vakapuna Naulu' ki he ngaahi tukuaki’i ‘o e founga ngāue pā’osi’i, ngaahi kovi’i mo ta’efakahoko totonu. Ko e kautaha Naulu’ foki ne ‘osi lolotonga fakatoka ha’ane palani fengāue’aki mo e kautaha vakapuna Real Tonga’ ke puna he vaha’a ‘o Nu’u Sila mo Tonga’ pehē ki Fisi 'o fakafuofua ki he māhina' ni pe māhina katu'u'. .

    Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority is investigating Nauru Airlines, which has been in talks with the Tongan government about setting up a direct flight to Australia.

    Last December Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva met a delegation from Nauru Airlines to discuss the possibility of a service between Tonga and Brisbane.

    Hon. Pohiva met Nauru Airlines chairman Trevor Jensen and the managing director of Real Tonga, Tevita Palu, about a potential partnership.

    Radio New Zealand reported Mr Jensen as saying that the airline said what it had seen and was keen to pursue the matter further.

    According to Australian media reports the CASA received complaint about Jensen from the airline’s former CEO Peter Sheehan, safety systems manager Brian Douglas and the chief pilot.

    They claimed he had not allowed the CEO to do his job properly and presided over a toxic workplace environment where staff were bullied and abused.

    Jensen has denied the allegations. It is understood he has now taken over as CEO while remaining chairman.

    There has been speculation that the airline could post a multi-million dollar loss this year.

    It is believed the Nauru government recently gave the airline $10 million.

    Nauru Airlines is wholly owned by the Government of Nauru and currently flies to Brisbane, Nadi, Tarawa, Majuro, Pohnpei and Guam.

    It owns a five Boeing 737-300 aircraft.

    About 6000 Tongans live in Brisbane and up to 600 Tongans work on Queensland farms and orchard under the Seasonal Workers Program.

    The main points

    • Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority is investigating Nauru Airlines, which has been in talks with the Tongan government about setting up a direct flight to Australia.
    • Last December Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva met a delegation from Nauru Airlines to discuss the possibility of a service between Tonga and Brisbane.

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