More than 100 employees of Air Tahiti have agreed to accept voluntary redundacy as French Polynesia’s flag carrier grapples with the downturn in tourism.
The carrier is to shed 13 pilots and 40 cabin crew as well as ground staff – six months after the airline suspended flights because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Air Tahiti Nui resumed flights to the US and France in July but services to Asia and New Zealand remain suspended.
The airline links Tahiti with Paris via Vancouver as does Air France, which said it would maintain its three weekly flights via Canada until the end of October.
The usual stop-over point for both airlines had been Los Angeles, but US authorities don’t allow access to European travellers wishing to transit.
Before the pandemic, Air Tahiti Nui employed 716 people.
Its CEO said today nobody believed that the situation would return to normal in less than three years.
United Airlines and French Bee resumed their Tahiti flights after the border reopened in July and quarantine requirements for arriving travellers were dropped.