9 Apr 2007

New Caledonia-France air link planned via Reunion

2:32 pm on 9 April 2007

There are plans for a new air service linking New Caledonia and France via the Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

The head of Reunion's carrier, Air Austral, has told the newspaper, Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, that flights are set to begin in the second half of next year.

Gerard Etheve says Air Austral will use a Boeing 777 to fly to Sydney where travellers can connect to an Air Caledonie International flight.

Mr Etheve says the flight time between Noumea and Paris will be about 26 hours including stop-overs.

New Caledonian political leaders have welcomed the announcement, saying in the past visitor numbers grew only whe new lines were added.

Currently, New Caledonia's main link to France is via Japan.