4 Oct 2004

Virgin Blue still eyeing New Caledonia service

8:24 pm on 4 October 2004

The budget airline, Virgin Blue, says it hasn't ruled out a service to New Caledonia.

Last week, the airline announced it wouldn't begin a service between Australia and New Caledonia until issues, such as high airport costs and a threatened boycott by some travel agents, are resolved.

Virgin Blue's director of strategy, David Huttner, also says the territorial government's control of ticket prices means Virgin Blue would struggle to be competitive.

The airline would have been in direct competition with the government-owned Air Calin.

A spokesperson for Virgin Blue, Jo Wedlock, says they still hope to eventually start a service to New Caledonia.

"Our meetings will continue, and along the way we hope to iron out the various sorts of issues that have come up. We have still got a plan that at some stage we would like to fly there, so we'll have to continue with negotiations, but its just not going to happen in the near future, with all these high charges and high fees."

Jo Wedlock.