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NOUMEA, New Caledonia (Oceania Flash, Mar. 31) - AirCalin has
reportedly taken over Air France flights to Tokyo and Osaka in Japan, key
markets for New Caledonia.

According to RFO's Télé-Nouvelle-Calédonie, Air France will
continue to operate its Tokyo to Paris route

On Saturday, Air France, which until then was linking New
Caledonia and Japan, operated its last commercial Tokyo-bound flight out of
Nouméa. On Sunday, the same flight was operated by AirCalin's newly-acquired
Airbus A-330.

An existing code-sharing agreement with Air France remains in

As a result of the shift, all of the 109 New Caledonia-based Air
France's cabin crew have been given a choice of three options: 16 have either
been relocated in Air France bases in metropolitan France, 23 others have taken
an attractive "reconversion" package (whereby Air France picks the
bill for any study or vocational training of their choice).

But most of the crew staff (65) has chosen to stay and fly under
AirCalin's Hibiscus colors.

Air France officials said at the week end "a page had now
been turned" in New Caledonia's aviation history, 54 years after Air France
operated its first commercial flight to the far-flung French Pacific territory.

Since the beginning of the year, AirCalin has acquired two new
Airbus and plans to buy another one for its regional routes (Australia, New
Zealand, Wallis and Futuna, Fiji, French Polynesia).

April 1, 2003

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