31 Mar 2009

New Caledonia domestic flights disrupted

2:35 pm on 31 March 2009

Reports from New Caledonia say there have been severe disturbances to weekend domestic flights because of protest action over the work contract of an airline employee.

The Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper says some flights of Air Caledonie to the Loyalty Islands and the Isle of Pines were delayed or cancelled while some aircraft flew out of Noumea empty to pick up stranded travellers.

The action was led by the USTKE union which is seeking to win a better contract for a Kanak woman.

The airline's head has instructed airline managers to abandon talks with the strikers, saying there can be no discussions based on racist demands.

An end to the dispute is not in sight.