15 May 2020

New Caledonia airline tables cost-cutting plans

3:48 pm on 15 May 2020

New Caledonia's international airline says it plans to cut its staffing costs by 20 percent because of the crisis triggered by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Aircalin has 480 employees and spends $45 million on salaries a year.

The cuts are expected to be achieved with a mix of voluntary departures and redundancies.

Aircalin's first Airbus A330-900neo.

Aircalin's first Airbus A330-900neo. Photo: Airbus

The head of Aircalin said the downturn forced the company into survival mode, with a return of passenger numbers seen last year now not expected before 2024.

Didier Tappero said since the suspension of regular flights in March the airline had lost 93 percent of its passengers and incurred a loss of $US7 million.

The only flights operating are government-sponsored trips to Japan to repatriate stranded residents transiting from France.

Mr Tappero said the fleet renewal was on hold and the delivery of an Airbus due in October had been put off to 2023.

With the fleet being reduced from four aircraft to three, Osaka and Melbourne will be dropped from the carrier's network.

Aircalin asked France for a $US50 million loan.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs