8 Sep 2004

Wallis and Futuna sets up own airline

8:12 pm on 8 September 2004

France's tiniest Pacific territory, Wallis and Futuna, is reported set up its own airline, "Air Wallis", with plans to launch its inaugural flight in January 2005, between Wallis and New Caledonia.

Air Wallis management say there are also plans to establish routes to French Polynesia later next year.

RFO reports the new company is a joint venture between the territory of Wallis and Futuna, traditional chiefs, the King, a local bank and private investors.

It says the airline, for its first 3 years of operation, will lease a 126-seat Boeing 737, which is currently operated by Air Vanuatu.

Meanwhile, the promoters say they plan to request the green light from the French ministry of transport to operate two flights a week between Wallis and Port Vila, Nadi and Nouméa..

The only company currently operating between Wallis and New Caledonia is AirCalin.