Citizens of Tonga who've been stuck in New Zealand during the Covid-19 lockdown are being flown home today.
An Air New Zealand repatriation flight took off from Auckland Airport this morning and is expected to arrive at Fua’amotu International Airport at 1:30pm local time.
The flight is the first to transport passengers to Tonga since border restrictions were put in place.
Air New Zealand Senior Manager Pacific Islands Brent Roxburgh said there had been "a large number" of Tongan passport holders who had been in New Zealand for an extended period of time due to Covid-19 related border restrictions.
"Air New Zealand is pleased to be working closely with the Tongan government to help facilitate those wanting to return home.”
The passengers all underwent a Covid-19 test four days before flying out and are required to carry proof of their negative result.
They will also be required to quarantine four 14 days at locations chosen by the Tongan government once they arrive.
Air New Zealand is working with the Government of Tonga on the next repatriation flight.