Air New Zealand suspends New Caledonia services for several months due to unrest

Air New Zealand has announced it is pausing its Nouméa service until late September due to ongoing certainty in New Caledonia.

General Manager of Short-Haul Jeremy O'Brien said given the continued closure of the airport and ongoing uncertainty, it's challenging for the airline to continue operations in the short term. 

Air New Zealand paused flights to the country after a decision from the French government about voting rights led to widespread unrest in the country in May. 

The airport was closed mainly due to the main road access between Nouméa and the international terminal being blocked by numerous barricades erected by protesters.

 A limited number of international flights have since resumed from the country. 

In a statement today, Air New Zealand said that flights would be suspended until September 28. 

"We understand that this will be disappointing for customers who have travel plans to and from Nouméa and we apologise for the disruption this causes," O'Brien said. 

"It's not a decision we have taken lightly, and we're committed to returning after 28 September."

Customers who booked directly with the airline will have their flights automatically held in credit. Those who booked with a travel agent should contact them directly to discuss their options. 

Six people have died as a result of the unrest in the country.