Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu'i'onetoa and Chief Secretary Edgar Cocker. Photo/Kalino Lātu (Kaniva Tonga)

Documents seen by Kaniva News appear to show that Maikolo Fa’asolo was CEO of Lulutai Airlines, despite a denial by Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’ionetoa and Chief Secretary Edgar Cocker.

Veteran journalist Kalafi Moala first published a story on Fa’asolo’s position earlier today.

Kaniva News has seen an employment contract  between Fa’asolo and Lulutai Airlines as CEO and as captain of the airline’s Saab 340B and the Y12E aircraft.

The contract was signed on August 17 with an end date of August 16, 2021.

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Earlier this week the Prime Minister denied that Fa’asolo had been appointed CEO of the kingdom’s new airline, Lulutai.

Hon. Tu’ionetoa also denied claims by an anti-corruption group that Fa’asolo was stood down after claims his CV was inflated.

“Nothing like that happened,” the Prime Minister told Kaniva News.

When Kaniva News asked Hon. Tu’ionetoa for a response to today’s story in Fangongo, he said: “It may be nice for you to ask Maikolo Fa’asolo.”

Kaniva News has sought comment from Fa’asolo.

Fa’asolo holds a Master of Science in Air Transport Management from the City University of London School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

He first trained as a pilot in New Zealand, flew with Royal Tongan Airlines and later spent 12 years in Bahrain, home to  major airline Gulf Air.

Fa’asolo was formerly Flight Operating Manager of Real Tonga Airlines.

According to the contract seen by Kaniva News, Fa’asolo is “qualified, experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of the position.”

The contract is signed by Fa’asolo and Lulutai’s company secretary Edgar Cocker.

As Kaniva News reported earlier, the Prime Minister’s claim that Fa’asolo had not been appointed CEO was supported  by Cocker, who is now acting CEO of the airline.

Cocker was contacted for comment on today’s story.

The main points

  • Documents seen by Kaniva News appear to show that Maikolo Fa’asolo was CEO of Lulutai Airlines, despite a denial by Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’ionetoa yesterday.
  • Veteran journalist Kalafai Moala first published a story on Fa’asolo’s position earlier today.

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