admin's picture


PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (June 24, 2001 - Oceania Flash/SPC)---French Polynesia President Gaston Flosse met France's President Jacques Chirac last Thursday, the French Polynesian government said in a release.

During an hour-and-a-half interview, the two men, who are said to be good friends, mainly discussed the threatened disruption in air links between French Polynesia and the rest of the world, including metropolitan France.

A crisis has been caused by the recent near-collapse of AOM-Air Liberté, which flies three times a week between Paris and Pape‘ete, guaranteeing a reliable tourist flow to the French territory.

But AOM last week was given a respite by a commercial court near Paris. Instead of being closed down in bankruptcy, AOM now has three months to find new investment partners.

"The head of State (Chirac) has shown deep concern over the potential death of AOM and the problems it poses to the whole of France’s overseas territories," the release said.

"He was mindful of the consequences this problem can cause for tourism development in French Polynesia."

When AOM's financial troubles were announced several weeks ago, Flosse said that he was taking steps for French Polynesia's flag carrier, Air Tahiti Nui (ATN), to take over the routes in jeopardy.

"(Chirac) approves the Air Tahiti Nui solution, which demonstrates the efforts of (Flosse) to find a long-term solution," the release stated.

Flosse, during his current Paris trip, already has met with Airbus Industries Chairman Noël Forgeard to negotiate a lease -- possibly the purchase -- of a second Airbus for ATN that could become operational as early as September 15.

While in France, he also will meet with the chairmen of Air France, Jean Cyril Spinetta, and AOM, Marc Rochet.

Flosse’s plan is to obtain support from Air France and a budget airline, Corsair, to make up for possible cancelled flights, especially in July-August, France's peak annual leave and vacation season.

"The President is deploying all possible effort so that there is no disruption in links between Paris and Pape‘ete," the government release added.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment