French military to make Rapa Nui repatriation flight

10:59 am on 7 October 2020
French military cargo plane Airbus A400M

French military cargo plane Airbus A400M Photo: supplied

The French military will repatriate about 20 Rapa Nui people stranded in Tahiti since the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The cargo plane is due to make the six-hour flight to Easter Island on Thursday and then pick up about a dozen French Polynesian residents also stuck since March.

Tahiti closed its airport to commercial airlines in March, but after resuming international flights in July the link to South America remains severed.

The Chile-based carrier Latam said it planned to resume its flights from Rapa Nui to Tahiti on 29 March.

The French Airbus A400 cargo plane is being deployed to French Polynesia for two weeks.

Such an aircraft was also used in May for evacuation and repatriation missions in both French Polynesia as well as New Zealand and Australia.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs