AIR TAHITI NUI PLANS DIRECT FLIGHTS TO SYDNEY

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PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Mar. 17) - Air Tahiti Nui’s July 9 launching of two weekly nonstop Papeéte-Sydney flights will spearhead a push by Tahiti’s government to address a sharp trade imbalance with Australia, French Polynesia Vice President and Tourism Minister Jacqui Drollet said upon arriving in Sydney on Wednesday (Tahiti time).

"We are trying to balance it out and tourism is going to be the biggest part of the drive to export services," Drollet said in an interview with the Australian Associated Press that was published in The Age newspaper in Melbourne.

Tahiti imports 18 billion French Pacific francs (US$208.1 million) worth of Australian goods yearly, but only exports goods with a value of one billion French Pacific francs (US$11.56 million).

Drollet met Wednesday (Thursday in Sydney) with new South Wales Tourism Minister Sandra Nori and planned to meet with Federal Tourism Minister Fran Bailey later this week.

Drollet was among a planeload of government, tourism and industry officials flown to Sydney by Air Tahiti Nui for a three-day promotion in Tahiti & Her Islands as a tourist destination.

Air Tahiti Nui will start the two weekly nonstop flights on July 9 that will continue nonstop on to New York. Air Tahiti Nui will launch three weekly nonstop New York-Papeéte flights on July 4 that will continue nonstop to Sydney.

March 18, 2005

Tahitipresse: www.tahitipresse.pf

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