19 Apr 2010

Thousands in French Polynesia affected by flight groundings in Europe

8:43 am on 19 April 2010

About 3,000 people in French Polynesia are affected by the air travel disruptions caused by Iceland's volcanic eruption.

French Polynesians in France cannot return to Tahiti at the end of their Easter holidays in Europe while Air Tahiti Nui and Air France passengers bound from Tahiti to France cannot leave because of the closure of the airport in Paris.

Europe-bound flights leaving Tahiti only go as far as Los Angeles and the airlines have suspended carrying people wishing to travel beyond California to Europe.

The authorities plan to set up a special unit later today to deal with the travel emergency.