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November 17, 1999
PINA Nius Online


PAPEETE, French Polynesia (November 17, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---French Polynesia's flag carrier Air Tahiti Nui (ATN) this week celebrated its first birthday, RFO-radio reports.

ATN's Airbus A-340 landed on French Polynesian soil for the first time on November 14, 1998 and started operating one week later on a commercial flight to Los Angeles.

Since the company began operating, ATN has increased its capital through five successive public shareholding appeals. But its air services still are not profitable.

Nevertheless, the company still is seen as being in "good health," with 3,800 passengers carried last September on its main route, Los Angeles-Papeete. It holds a 24 share of the market.

Since March, Air Tahiti Nui also has been the first carrier in terms of American tourists traveling to French Polynesia, ahead of all other airlines.

Air Tahiti Nui’s chairman Nelson Levy stressed that the company’s current strategy is to rely mainly on the American market, from where visitors increased by 20 percent since the beginning of the year.

Air Tahiti Nui's main routes are to Los Angeles and Tokyo.

"Thanks to the increase in hotel capacity and more plane seats available, we have managed to eliminate a 'traffic jam' (to French Polynesia) that once existed," Levy said.

He also wished the A-340, which currently "sleeps" three nights a week on Papeete’s Faa'a International Airport's tarmac, was used more.

Air Tahiti Nui is plans to open a Papeete-Osaka route on April 4, 2000, and currently is engaged in talks with Korean Air to bring Korean tourists to the French territory through the new Osaka, Japan destination.



PAPEETE, French Polynesia (November 17, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---French Polynesian President Gaston Flosse and pro-independence opposition member Emile Vernaudon are both in Paris this week, where they met with French Secretary of State for Overseas Territories, Jean-Jack Queyranne, RFO-radio reports.

The two leaders will join discussions in the French Senate next week where Flosse's proposal to increase the number of outer island members in the French Polynesian assembly will be considered.



PAPEETE, French Polynesia (November 17, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---A wind-powered generator has been operating since September in the southern Isle of Pines, New Caledonia's development agency (ADECAL) reported in its monthly newsletter.

The three-propeller wind generator is designed to supplement an existing diesel generator and is expected to reduce fuel costs by some 15 percent.

The project cost some 60 million CFP (US$ 600,000).

This bulletin was produced by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA). Editor: Patrick Antoine Decloitre E-mail: 

For more information, contact Nina Ratulele, PINA Administrator, at 

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Damodar Centre, 1st Floor 46 Gordon Street Suva, Republic of the Fiji Islands Tel: (679) 303 623 Fax : (679) 303 943 Postal Address: PINA, Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji Islands

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