13 Dec 2018

Wallis and Futuna promised better international links

7:04 pm on 13 December 2018
Air Calin planes at Tontouta Airport in New Caledonia

Photo: AFP

The French overseas minister Annick Girardin says Paris will rethink how to provide air services to Wallis and Futuna.

The French territory is only being serviced by Aircalin with flights from New Caledonia which is now home to more Wallisians that their home islands.

In response to a question by the Wallis and Futuna member of the French National Assembly Sylvain Brial, Ms Girardin says an effort will be made with the transport minister to improve links, both by air and sea.

Last month, a petition in Wallis and Futuna rapidly collected close to 1000 signatures to call for better air services.

People also wanted to know why the high season return fare for a Wallis to Noumea flight is $US1400.

Two years ago the then French president Francois Hollande said offers would be sought for better links.

It was suggested that Fiji Airways could be interested in using ATR turbo prop aircraft to fly to both Wallis and Futuna as the two islands are about 800 kilometres from Nadi.

Migration over the years has seen a huge number of Wallisians settle in more prosperous New Caledonia.