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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (June 19, 2001 – Tahitipresse)---The bankruptcy crisis at AOM airlines in France threatens French Polynesian tourism.

The Créteil Commercial Court outside Paris announced this week that AOM will go into receivership for at least a three-month period, affecting its services, including flights from Paris to Pape‘ete.

As a result, Air Tahiti Nui is preparing to begin flying the Pape‘ete - Paris route as early as September 15.

The plan now, in French Polynesia, is to rent a second Airbus for Air Tahiti Nui.

President Gaston Flosse left for France Saturday to find solutions to the airline crisis.

European tourists, flying with AOM and other companies, primarily Air France and Corsair, represent about half of the tourists arriving in French Polynesia.

During the international air show in Le Bourget, June 19, President Flosse met with Noël Forgeard, Airbus industry chairman.

"We could, for a start, rent an Airbus 340-200," said the President after the meeting.

This second plane could be ready as early as September 15, 2001, he said.

A new meeting on the matter is scheduled between the two men for next Monday, June 25, at the Airbus industry head office in Toulouse.

"The end of AOM's services, if it were to be confirmed, would have unacceptable consequences both for small and big hotels in French Polynesia," declared Flosse.

Air Tahiti Nui currently flies only in the Pacific, serving Japan to the west and Los Angeles, California to the east.

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