Polynesia’s Real Tonga Airlines has been given its first aircraft–an MA-60–by the Chinese government. However, the move has prompted New Zealand to suspend millions of dollars in tourism aid to Tonga because it is concerned about the twin turboprop’s safety record. According to the Fiji Times, New Zealand foreign affairs minister Murray McCully has stated that the MA-60 has an unacceptable standard of safety.
Malaysia’s National Aerospace and Defence Industries (NADI) and Lion Air parent PT Lion Grup of Indonesia plan to establish a new low-fare airline in Malaysia named Malindo Airways, the new partners announced Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur. Scheduled to start flights next May out of Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s regional transit hub, Malindo would compete directly with AirAsia–the biggest low-fare carrier in the region–in its home market of Malaysia, as well as Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, India and Japan.