23 Jan 2020

New Caledonia's Aircalin cancels charter from China

11:45 am on 23 January 2020

New Caledonia's international airline has cancelled Sunday's planned charter flight from China.

AirCalin Airbus at Noumea Airport

AirCalin Airbus at Noumea Airport Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

The head of Aircalin has told local media that the carrier had failed to obtain the authorisation from China to fly to Tianjin to pick up 282 travellers.

Earlier this week, Air Tahiti Nui also cancelled its planned weekend China charter flight because of problems to secure the required documentation.

None of the cancellations is being linked to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

Aircalin's move follows a government decision to install thermal cameras at Noumea's international airport for the flight from China.

Anyone who arrived by plane in Noumea after having been to China in the past month is being contacted by the health authorities.

During the 2003 SARS outbreak, New Caledonia introduced health checks at the border to minimise the risk of importing the virus.