Young Pioneer Tours

How to get from Samoa to Tonga

When you look at a map, Samoa and Tonga look quite close together, at least by Pacific standards anyway. Alas, there are no direct flights between Apia, the capital of Samoa and Nuku’alofa (easy for you to say) the capital of Tonga.

The most popular way to traverse these countries, and in some ways the most practical, is to fly from Samoa to Fiji, and then Fiji to Tonga, or even via New Zealand, but where is the fun in that?

Chartering a Plane With Talofa Airways

Talon Airways arrange charter flights specifically between Samoa and Tonga, having both a 6 and 8 seater plane (that is their whole fleet).

This is obviously not particularly practical if you are going alone, but if you are travelling as a group, the price only goes up a few hundred dollars per person. Journey time is just over two and a half hours. That is right 150 minutes in a tiny prop plane flying through the clouds! To describe the flight as somewhat, snug would be doing it a great injustice. Now while it might not be all that comfortable for tall folk, the view more than makes up for it.

Quick stop in Pago Pago?

It is possible to “break up the journey” by stopping for a few hours in Pago Pago the capital city of American Samoa, which gives more than enough time to see the island, even dropping off at one of the most controversial McDonalds in the world.

This obviously adds to the cost of the flight, so it is up to you to decide if the cost is justified, or not. To us, it certainly was!

Who are Talofa Airways?

Talofa Airways are an airline based in Samoa that was formed by Jeffrey Hunter smartly, who in 1996 had decided he would rather stay in the Pacific than return to America. In 2016 Talofa Airways were born with their flagship Rockwell 690B Turbo Commander 9 seater as their flagship carrier.

For us, at least they had to swap planes even after having already loaded it with our luggage. We never found out who it was that was too fat, but I suspect it was Justin Martell of Pioneer Media.

As for the flight itself, we had quite clear skies from American Samoa to Tonga, but keep in mind it is a very small plane, and you will bump up and down quite a lot in the journey. Not for the weak-willed, or indeed the weak-stomached.

So, that is our guide on how to fly from Samoa to American Samoa and indeed, how you can get from Samoa to Tonga without having to transit in Fiji.

Of course, not everyone can charter a plane, so why not join our Least Visited Countries Tour, a true signature YPT treat.

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