23 Nov 2009

Air Caledonie struggles after expansion

2:35 pm on 23 November 2009

An audit of New Caledonia's domestic airline, Air Caledonie, has revealed that none of its routes makes a profit.

The report by KPMG accountants is being quoted in the territory's daily newspaper and highlights the company's financial woes.

It blames part of the difficulties on the acquisition of larger aircraft which in four years increased the number of seats by 50 percent while passenger numbers rose by only 27 percent.

The territory's domestic carrier is to get 3.7 million US dollars from the government to ensure it won't fail to pay its bills.

The head of the airline's board of directors says 54 percent of the passengers are entitled to pay only half the fare, which he says is a service to the provinces that they should carry.