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Lulutai cancels flights after aircraft hit by aircraft tug

Lulutai’s Y12  plane collides with an aircraft tug after the tow-bar snapped during towing at Fua’amotu hangar on Wednesday.

Poasi Tei

Passengers from Ha’apai to Tongatapu told Kaniva News their flight was delayed before it was cancelled on Wednesday.

They were told the aircraft was undergoing mechanical maintenance.

The collision triggered cancellation to the aircraft’s flights until yesterday, Thursday 20, the Lulutai chief executive Poasi Tei has confirmed to Kaniva News this morning.

He said the damage was fixed and the aircraft returned to services the following day.

In Tongan Tei said: “Ko e mo’oni ne tau e tow he vakapuna Y12 ‘i hono toho kitu’a mei he hangar ‘o uesia ai e konga ‘o e vakapuna.

Ne ngaahi ‘e he kau ‘enisinia he ‘aho ko ia pea puna he ‘aho hoko’ pe”.

The news comes after the airlines’ flight on July 4 from ‘Eua to Tongatapu was cancelled after the same passenger aircraft veered off the runway during its take-off run.

As Kaniva News reported at the time, the Chinese-built Harbin Y12 aircraft spent 20 minutes trying to take off before it returned to the terminal at Kaufana airport.

The aircraft stuttered repeatedly when it touched down before making it to the terminal.

Eyewitnesses said at the time  the aircraft appeared to have engine problems when it arrived at the airport.