The new A320neo of the New Caledonian airline Aircalin landed in Tontouta international airport, on Sunday 27 December.
Named after an island on the country’s East coast, Tibarama joined the rest of the fleet, composed of two A330neo, Kanumera and Luengoni, two wonderful beaches on the Isle of Pines and Lifou islan. Because of the health crisis, the plane will have a limited service.
It will fly between New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna. The two French territories located in the South Pacific are fortunate not to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Caledonians going to Wallis are therefore not obliged to go through quarantine. The same goes for Wallisians and Futunians coming to New Caledonia.
The plane will serve other destinations as soon as the health situation allows to do so.
The economical situation of the local airline is difficult with 90% less passengers. The company has lost 90% of its turnover since 2019. And Aircalin is losing 7.6 million Australian dollars per month.
Connections with Melbourne and Osaka have been abolished and a 20% reduction in the wage bill has been decided. The central government in Paris has given the company a state-guaranteed loan of 64 million Australian dollars.
Photo credit > Aircalin Facebook page