10 Mar 2010

Belep set to lose air link to New Caledonia mainland

11:46 am on 10 March 2010

Reports from New Caledonia say there are concerns that medical care may suffer if flights to the territory's northern island of Belep are stopped.

Local television says the air service is about to be abandoned as the domestic carrier, Air Caledonie, is faced with serious financial problems and no longer has the aircraft to maintain the current network.

Belep has had two flights a week, linking it with Koumac in the north of the main island.

The airline is said to have slipped into difficulties in part because it employed to many ground staff.

Medical staff say an end to the air service is likely to pose problems in case of emergencies.