Fiji’s national airlines, Fiji Airways, has confirmed that flights to Vava’u, Tonga from Nadi International Airport is to begin in April, 2016.

There have been serious talks between Fiji and Tonga aviation officials late in 2015 about this new route into Tonga, which will open direct international travel to Vava’u without having to go through the main island of Tongatapu.

International travellers to Vava’u have had to fly to Tongatapu, before catching a domestic flight from there to Vava’u.

Complaints from travellers revealed that visitors bound for Vava’u regularly experience long delays as well as cancellation of flights between Tongatapu and Vava’u.

The Tongan government claims that Vava’u is one of the best destinations in the world for marine recreational activities.

Vava’u has been marketed as the destination where you could travel to the Kingdom of Tonga “to swim with the whales”. Whale watching has become one of the most popular activities for tourists travelling to Vava’u.

Travellers between the United States and Tonga normally fly via Nadi on Fiji Airways. With the new direct route to and from Vava’u and Nadi, travellers can cut down on travel time to and from Vava’u.

The 68-seat ATR 72-600 airplane will be used on the Vava’u service, and will take 2 hours flight time.

Flights to Vava’u from Nadi are scheduled to depart at 8 am on Saturdays and Wednesdays, arriving at 11.10am local time.

The return flights will leave Vava’u at 4pm on Saturdays and Wednesdays arriving in Nadi at 5.20pm local time.

The schedule will help facilitate better transition of travellers between the United States and Tonga.

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