To demand lower prices, users block airfields

2023-09-26 14:38:38

They are fed up and intend to make themselves heard. User groups indicated that they had launched an unlimited blockade on Tuesday of the airfields of Lifou, Maré and Ile des Pins, in New Caledonia, in particular to obtain a reduction in prices for the domestic airline Air Calédonie.

A new pricing policy on passenger freight ignited the powder at the end of July, before demands extended to the prices charged by the company, in a quasi-monopoly situation in this overseas territory. Several meetings were held between users, Air Calédonie and the local government, the majority shareholder of the company, without an agreement being reached.

Occasional blockages led to the cancellation of 160 flights this summer

User groups are calling in particular for the establishment of a single price and an increase in the number of low-cost tickets issued as part of the aid system for island residents. Measures rejected on August 3 by the government, which then specified in a press release that “the introduction of a single fare ticket would amount to charging loss-making fares which would lead to an operating deficit for the company”.

Since the start of the conflict two months ago, occasional blockages have already led to the cancellation of 160 flights at a cost of 336,000 euros, the company estimates. A consultation meeting is due to take place on September 27, but the user groups have indicated that they will not attend. In 2011, a previous conflict over the price of plane tickets ended in the death of four people in Maré, during clashes between supporters and opponents of the blockade of the island.

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