8 Apr 2019

Wallis air service costs decried

6:18 am on 8 April 2019
AirCalin Airbus at Noumea Airport

Aircalin Airbus at Noumea's Tontouta Airport Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

There has been a public meeting in Wallis and Futuna with the head of New Caledonia's international airline over the fares it charges.

Aircalin is the only carrier flying to Wallis, connecting the territory to Noumea and to Fiji.

Amid widespread complaints about the high cost of flying, the airline's CEO Didier Tappero met with about 200 concerned travellers and told them that the link is barely breaking even.

The local broadcaster reports that the reaction was mainly negative, with people complaining that the route between Wallis and Noumea is the most expensive in the world.

Mr Tappero told the crowd that he has to deliver accounts to his board and the shareholders.

Last year, a petition in Wallis and Futuna rapidly collected close to 1,000 signatures to back calls for better air services.

Three 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.

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