Aircalin, the flag carrier of New Caledonia, based in Nouméa, is reducing flights for 2024, as the impact from recent civil unrest is hitting the airline's financials and passenger numbers. Security in the country is still not insured, pushing the carrier to take measure to ensure its sustainability.

The carrier's monthly turnover, which is normally around US$18.3 million, is currently around $8.1 million, according to CEO Georges Selefen. Similarly, the passenger numbers are expected to be halved for 2024, from 455,000 to 225,000.

The closure of La Tontouta international airport – which has recently reopened – forced the Aircalin to suspend commercial flights. Further, civil unrest in the country kept tourists away.

As a result of the impact, the carrier will suspend flights to Tokyo from September, drop services to Melbourne immediately, and push to accelerate flights from Nouméa to Paris via Bangkok from December 2024, pending authorizations.

Aircalin has also been forced to put 35-40% of its 500-strong staff on partial unemployment and freeze all investments. The repayment of debts, in particular that of the State guaranteed loan, was rescheduled to between 2025 and 2028.

The CEO also met with shareholders of Air Calédonie and Air Loyauté to initiate talks in regard to a possible merger to rationalize Caledonian air services.