NOUMEA TO FRANCE TRAVEL PLUMMETS WITH MEANS TESTING

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Changes in subsidized fare regulations causes 75% drop in tickets

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 24, 2012) – Figures in New Caledonia show that the change of eligibility for subsidized air travel to France has led to a 75 percent drop in demand for special fares.

The program, which is means tested, has been in place to facilitate New Caledonians’ links with France.

Noumea’s daily newspaper reports that last year both Air France and Air Austral registered a sharp decline in the sale of tickets at concessionary rates over 2010, from 11,000 to 3,000.

It says the change has meant the growth in traveler numbers from Noumea to Paris stalled.

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