FRENCH POLYNESIA CABINET INCREASES LOCAL FUNDING FOR AIR TAHITI NUI

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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (April 25, 2002 - Oceania Flash)---French Polynesia's government has resolved to boost funding for its international flag carrier Air Tahiti Nui (ATN) by an additional one billion French Pacific Francs (close to US$ 8 million), its Cabinet announced on Thursday.

The financial assistance was earmarked some months ago as part of an increase in ATN's stock, but was not expected to be implemented until later this year.

The aid also consists of a cash flow advance (442.6 million CFP), which the government said would be "necessary to finance ATN's public service operation."

The final part of the territorial support is to "guarantee ATN against financial risks" it could incur as a result of the recently-opened bi-weekly Pape'ete-Los Angeles-Paris route, especially with regard to the need to increase its flights frequency during the high season in France (June-October).

ATN plans, during the peak period, to add two flights a week between Pape'ete and Los Angeles and three flights a week to Paris via Los Angeles.

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