French Polynesia's Marquesas islands lose internal flights

2:36 pm on 19 May 2020

Air Tahiti has decided to no longer fly within the Marquesas islands as the carrier struggles with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Air Tahiti plane

Air Tahiti plane Photo: RNZI/Walter Zweifel

As a result Ua Pou and Ua Huka will lose their regular air links, with Air Tahiti saying the routes had been run at a loss.

Air Tahiti will resume services on Friday, but initially only fly to 10 of its destinations.

Before the lockdown in March, Air Tahiti - with its fleet of mainly ATR planes - had been flying to 48 islands, including nearly 30 in the Tuamotus alone.

Last month, its manager Manate Vivish said the airline needed support to keep paying the salaries of its 1400 employees.

Mr Vivish said the difficulties were about 10 times worse than what was experienced after the great financial crisis just over a decade ago.

He said projections suggested it would take until 2023 to attain results achieved last year.

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