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New Caledonia’s Airport Closes

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Civil unrest in New Caledonia has caused riots and the airport to close.

The unrest in Nouméa began on Monday, leading to roadblocks, rioting, and looting. Tragically, the violence has resulted in five deaths. Because New Caledonia is a French colony, French Armt personal have arrested hundreds to try to restore order. French President Emmanuel Macron plans to hold crisis meetings with New Caledonian officials.

The airport closure has forced the airline to cancel flights scheduled for Saturday, May 18, and Monday, May 20.

Air New Zealand will only resume flights when the airport and travel routes are safe. The airline is coordinating with New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and its partner Aircalin for updates. Passengers affected by the cancellations can rebook their flights or choose to defer travel.

Air New Zealand is working closely with MFAT to ensure the safety of their staff and passengers and may assist in delivering cargo and supplies if requested. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Winston Peters stated that officials are working diligently to assist New Zealanders in New Caledonia and advised them to stay in place and remain in contact.

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