Lulutai Airlines (L8, Tongatapu) has ferried a DHC-6-400 to Tonga. As previously reported at ch-aviation, the carrier had recently acquired A3-KLT (msn 929) and sent it to Wagga Wagga for painting and maintenance purposes. On November 10, 2023, the aircraft positioned into Sydney Kingsford Smith ahead of it flying on to Nuku'alofa's Fua'amotu Airport the following day.

"This new aircraft is a much-needed boost to our current fleet and will help us keep families, communities, tourism operators, and businesses connected," Tongan Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni told local media outlets. "There is potential for additional aircraft in the near future."

In addition to A3-KLT, Lulutai Airlines operates one Saab 340B(Plus), and a Y12. The state-owned airline links Fua'amotu with Vava'u and Ha'apai. Speaking to ch-aviation at the recent Association of South Pacific Airlines conference in Brisbane, Lulutai Airlines CEO Poasi Tei said the airline was soon to issue an RFP for an ATR - Avions de Transport Régional type, signalling further growth at the carrier.

The aircraft made it to Tonga with the assistance of an AUD1.25 million Australian dollar (USD812,000) grant that helped cover the ferry costs, flight crew training, spares, and the aircraft's integration into Lulutai's network. The Australian government has increased its assistance to Lulutai (and other small Pacific island airlines) in recent times, partly to improve connectivity in the region but also to foster closer ties with island governments in a bid to temper the influence of the Chinese government.