New Caledonia Airlines seeking loans from France

AirCalin Airbus at Noumea Airport Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

Two New Caledonian airlines have asked for loans guaranteed by the French state to counter the downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The international carrier Aircalin and the domestic airline Air Caledonie reported a drop in passenger numbers of 91 and 40 percent respectively.

Aircalin says it wants a $US48 million loan in order to keep operating a reduced schedule while cutting its wage bill by 20 percent.

Aircalin also wants to delay reimbursing $US30 million worth of tickets sold before the Covid-19 outbreak.

The airline also decided to defer the planned delivery of two new aircraft due within the next six months.

Air Caledonie says it wants a $US5 million loan as it has incurred large losses.

It warned that mandatory pilot training and aircraft maintenance were imperilled by the border closure.

It says if no solution is found the airline will be forced to close.

Source: RNZ