Qantas has today announced they will be adding Tonga as a destination to its flight network. The addition comes as the South Pacific country has announced the slow reopening of its borders.
Qantas announces expansion of flight network to Tonga
Qantas will be flying weekly between Sydney and Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa. The duration of the journey between Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport and Fuaâ€™amotu Airport will be four and a half hours, allowing for another accessible holiday destination for Australians to explore.
The flights will initially be occurring every Thursday and can be booked via the airline’s website. Prices will start from $866 return, with Frequent Flyer members eligible to earn points and status credits for this service.
A spokesperson for the airline has addressed not only the excitement of the new route but the necessity it brings in connecting Australia to its South Pacific neighbours.
â€śSince the opening of Australiaâ€™s border, we have seen strong demand across our Qantas operated South Pacific services. In fact, Fiji is 50 per cent higher than pre-COVID demand, Noumea is 13 per cent higher and flights to Samoa are performing ahead of expectations.
â€śThese flights will help Australian-based South Pacific Islanders visit family and friends back home, as well as providing travel hungry Australians a choice of Pacific neighbours to explore.”
The service will be operated using Qantas’ A330 aircraft, the same aircraft currently used between the Sydney to Samoa service. The A330 international aircraft have been designed for comfort and leisure, hosting the next-generation model of the award-winning Recaro seat and an impressive inflight entertainment system, which is set to be upgraded with the announcement of aÂ Paramount Plus partnership.
Tonga after the pandemic
Home of humpback whales, active volcanoes and a disappearing island, Tonga remained free of Covid-19 throughout most of the pandemic. With a population of just over 100,000, August 1 2022 saw the country undertake a progressive opening of its borders, a move to assist in its economic recovery. Its tourism and construction sectors have been heavily impacted by Covid-19, with natural disasters, including Cyclone Harold, also contributing to its financial loss as a nation.
The Polynesian kingdom is currently still enforcing restrictions for international travellers. There is mandatory proof of vaccination needed to visit the country, as well as a negative Covid-19 test result 24 hours before departure and a mandatory Covid-19 test taken 3-5 days after arrival. However, there is a possibility for restrictions to change as tourism increases.
The South Pacific has been a popular travel destination for many Australians, and also a key location for major cruise liners to travel to. The decision for Australia’s flagship carrier to fly directly to Tonga will be a meaningful opportunity to strengthen Australia’s ties with the nation, seen as an opportunity to strengthen tourism, community and family connections.
Will you be flying to the South Pacific country soon? Let us know in the comments below!