French Polynesia strike threat over slow repatriation

11:45 am on 15 May 2020

The frustration over the slow repatriation of stranded French Polynesians has led to a union threat of a general strike.

Air Tahiti Nui Boeing 787

Air Tahiti Nui Boeing 787 Photo: Copyright(2018)The Boeing Company

The secretary general of the CSTP/FO Patrick Galenon told Tahiti Nui TV that it was untenable that France considered flying in large numbers of its public servants while French Polynesians remained stuck in France.

About 1000 residents have been waitlisted for the weekly French-sponsored relief flight from Paris to Papeete, which takes only a couple of dozen people at a time as it mainly transports freight.

Calls to organise dedicated repatriation flights have been rejected amid concern there wasn't sufficient accommodation to isolate returning travellers.

Mr Galenon said he believed more than 80 percent of the population finds the situation unacceptable.

He also said the French High Commissioner had well understood what the situation was.

Neither Air France nor Air Tahiti Nui plan to resume regular serices before July.