High Fuel Prices Forces Air Austral To Drop New Caledonia Flights

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Travelers express concern over remaining routes to France

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 17, 2012) – Air Austral, which is based in the French Indian Ocean territory of La Reunion, has decided to abandon its two weekly flights to New Caledonia, with a date for the last service yet to be announced.

An Air Austral Boeing 777 has been linking Noumea with Paris, flying via Sydney and La Reunion since early 2009.

In December, the airline said the high cost of jet fuel forced the suspension of the flights but in February it decided to keep flying the route.

The latest change has been due to ongoing losses.

New Caledonia’s daily paper says the end of the service has caused concern among travelers whose route to France is now likely to be almost exclusively via Japan.

Air Austral is also ending flights between La Reunion and five French provincial centers to concentrate on links to Paris by flying twice a day.

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