Compiled by David Wise

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Previously called Friendly Islands and assigned to use VQ-Fxx (Fiji). A3- registration prefix was allocated from Jan 1971 but not used until 1986.

Information collated from reports in Air Britain News and reports on websites. Cross-checked with Joe Barr and added Jan 2013.

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A3-AAA to A3-ZZZ

Reg Issue Reg
Type Const
In mid-1981 it was noted that the only aircraft based Tonga was
ZK-KHA 1 11/73 BN2A-21 Islander 661 (opTonga Air) ex G-AZDL/(HI-213) to ZK-NNE/DQ-FET cx 12/85
Issue of A3- registrations started in early 1989 - A3-FQK & FQL had been based since 1988 with Friendly Islands Airways using ZK- marks rereg 3/93
A3-AWP   11/05 Douglas C-47B-30-DK 16387/33135 ex ZK-AWP/5W-FAI/ZK-AWP/NZ3543/44-76803 (op Peau Vava'u to Chathams Pacific 8/09) reverted to ZK-AWP cx 11/13
A3-BFK   1/00 Short SD-360-200 Sh 3693 ex C6-BFK/N695CC/G-BMNI/G-14-3693 (op Royal Tongan) wfu 4/04 to N429AS (South Pacific Express Pago Pago) cx 12/04
A3-CIA   6/10 Be B80 Queenair LD-506 ex ZK-WKA/VH-AEQ/N1529L/HP-C300/N1529L/N2824B (op Chathams Pacific lsd to Real Tonga from 4/13) dgd u/c collapse Eua 4/14 still current
A3-DST   3/93 Lake LA 4-200 401 ex ZK-DST/N7628L (based USA in 1999) to N7628L cx 11/00 (cont op in Tonga)
A3-FEW   4/06 Be A65 LC-168 ex DQ-FEW/YJ-RV17/N232F (op Peau Vava'u (on reb 8/09) > Chathams Pacific dgd n/w collapse Fua'amotu 5/10) current
A3-FQK   3/93 DHC6-300 659 (Prev op in Tonga as ZK-FQK since 4/88) ex ZK-FQK/N105AC (op Royal Tongan) to VH-AHI cx 5/97 >9M-SSN>HB-LUG>8Q-MBB
A3-FQL   3/93 DHC6-300 685 (Prev op in Tonga as ZK-FQL since 5/88) ex ZK-FQL/N107AC (op Royal Tongan) wfu 4/04 to VH-VHP cx 12/04
A3-GQW   12/97 DHC-2 Beaver f/p 124 ex CF-GQW to DQ-GWW cx 11/99
A3-LYP   12/09 BN-2A-27 821 ex ZK-LYP/YR-BNO/G-BELD (Chathams Pacific lsd to Real Tonga from 4/13) reverted to ZK-LYP cx 11/13
A3-MCA   11/95 HS748-2A 1712 ex ZK-MCA/G-11-7 to G-OTBA 12/00
A3-PAS   10/13 BN2A-26 159 ex 5W-JUN/DQ-FIN/VH-ISA/G-AXYR/G-51-159 (lsd from Samoa Air) op Real Tonga current
A3-PUA   4/16 Saab 340B 408 ex VH-VEF/VH-VNX/N408XJ/SE-B08 op Real Tonga current
(A3-RTA)   12/88 ntu DC9-87 49673 (res for Royal Tongan lsd from GPA) reservation ntu to 9V-TRY then > XA-RUO> EI-CBU > XA-SFO > N673HC > N952MA
A3-RTL   6/13 Xian MA-60 0904 ex B-1027L op Real Tonga current
A3-SAM   8/14 Jetstream 3206 982 ex VH-OTF/(SE-LJC)/G-CBER/F-GMVO/G-31-982 op Real Tonga to VH-NTL cx 5/16
A3-SKY   6/15 Jetstream 3201 974 ex ZK-VAI/VH-OTP/RP-C863/VH-OTP/G-BURU/ F-GMVH/G-BURU/G-31-974 op Real Tonga to VH-ACV cx 5/17
A3-SMP   9/86 CASA C212CD C212-294 (Prev op in Tonga as ZK-THV from 11/85) ex ZK-THV/VH-SMO op Friendly Islands>5/89 Royal Tongan to N31BR cx 1/90 then N502FS
A3-SPV   8/14 Harbin Y-12-IV 032 ex YJ-AV6/B-979L op Real Tonga current
A3-XRH   9/06 Jetstream 4112 41052 ex ZK-JSM/(SE-LJD)/C-FTVN/G-4-052 (op Peau Vava'u) reverted to ZK-JSM cx 12/08 then to ZS-JSM 4/09
A3-?   11/19 GA-7 Cougar GA7-0088 ex VH-MJD/VH-OMG/VH-BDP/(ZK-FSB)/9V-BLA current
A3-?   11/19 GA-7 Cougar GA7-0097 ex VH-WYW/N723G current
A3- ?   c5/13 Harbin Y-12-IV   reservation for Real Tonga (YJ-AV5 leased instead see below)
A3- ?   ?/16 Saab 340B   (second res for Real Tonga in 5/16 n.t.u - requirement revived 7/19?)
A3- ?   ?/16 AS350   (VH-VWA photo on press release) Tonga Air Medical plus tourism b Tongatapu announced 2/16 (ntu VH-VWA remains current poss op in Samoa?)
A3- ?   ?/16 AS350   Tonga Air Medical plus tourism b Vava'u announced 2/16 (believed ntu)
Tonga Defence Air Wing
??   6/86 Victa Airtourer 115 R151 Tonga Defence Air Wing ex DQ-FBD/VQ-FBD/ZK-CMB not flown, returned to Fiji & sold to NZ for long-term rebuild
AW-01   5/96 Beech G18S BA-483 ex N9644R (cx 11/96) Tonga Defence Air Wing current
AW-02   ?/99 Bellanca 7GCBC 819-75 ex N8649V (cx 9/09) Tonga Defence Air Wing current
Other Aircraft based in Tonga
N500MK     Be D18S A-216 Aerial Surveys Inc (reported used by King of Tonga) Cof A expired 6/11
N7628L     Lake LA-4 401 ex A3-DST/ZK-DST/N7628L Aerial Surveys Inc current
YJ-AV5     Harbin Y-12 029 ex B-978L (op Real Tonga lsd from Air Vanuatu from 3/13) current
DQ-FJX/FJZ     ATR72-212A/600   (op Real Tonga route Tongatapu-Vava'u. One leased from Fiji Link from 4/15) current
Since 2009 domestic airline services in Tonga had been operated by Chathams Pacific, using both locally-registered aircraft above and on rotation from the Air Chathams parent company on ZK- register. This was planned to cease in March 2013 and replaced by a new Chinese-financed operation called Real Tonga, but start-up problems resulted in CP aircraft being leased for several months.
As well as the A3- registered aircraft above, the ZK- registered Air Chathams aircraft which are believed to have operated in Tonga are:-
ZK-CIB 3 6/96 CV-580 327A (op Air Chathams) ex C-FCIB/N8444H/TG-MYM/N8444H/N8420H/(PI-C342) current
ZK-CIC 2 9/93 SA227AC AC-623B (op Air Chathams) ex N623AV current
ZK-CID 2 10/04 CV-580 385 (op Air Chathams) ex HZ-SN11/C-FKFA/ZS-KFA/N5826/N3435 oou st PalN 11/08 current
ZK-CIE 2 8/05 CV-580 399 (op Air Chathams) ex N565EA/N98G/N98GL/N57RD current
ZK-CIF 2 10/05 CV-580 381 (op Air Chathams) ex N566EA/N73167 current
ZK-REA 1 7/12 BN2A Islander 43 (lsd 8-11/12 to Chathams Pacific in Tonga) ex ZK-FWH/F-OCMN/G-5-12
Royal Tongan have operated a number of leased aircraft which retained overseas registrations. These included:-
ZK-DES     HS748-2A 1689 leased by Royal Tongan 10/97-2/98
DQ-AFM     DHC6-300 448 leased by Royal Tongan 9/00-?/02
ZK-NAF     B737-2Y5 23038 ex 9H-ABA leased by Royal Tongan 5/99 to N712S 7/01
V8-RBB     B757-2M6 23453 leased by Royal Tongan 11/02 to 4K-AZ43 4/04
??     B737-300   leased from Nauru Airlines late 19

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