31 Oct 2011

Air Tahiti seeks subsidy to keep six unprofitable links

5:49 am on 31 October 2011

French Polynesia's domestic carrier says the government needs to subsidise it with 4.6 million US dollars a year to maintain flights to six loss-making destinations.

Last week, Air Tahiti announced it was no longer taking bookings for six of its 46 island destinations from January, saying the decline in tourism makes it impossible for the airline to remain profitable with the current network.

It says on some routes there are no more than four passengers a week.

The government says a downgrade is unacceptable, describing the proposed cuts as blackmail.

On Ua Pou, a silent march is planned this week in protest at the proposed air link cut.