Air Austral chops Sydney again

Air Austral chops Sydney again
By admin

Air Austral has once again axed its Sydney service, in its second embarrassing u-turn in less than six months.

The French carrier, based in Reunion in the Indian Ocean, said it would cease services to Sydney, Noumea and a number of French cities as part of a network restructure effective in October.

But the airline hinted a codeshare could be on the cards, enabling it to “continue serving travellers from Australia to Reunion and beyond.”

“Air Austral in discussions with an airline operating already in the Australian market, effective from the northern winter schedule,” a statement from Air Austral’s general sales agent World Aviation Systems said.

Air Austral announced in December it would withdraw its Reunion-Sydney-Noumea services, blaming the economic climate and rising fuel costs for the decision (Travel Today, December 16). However, it then revoked the decision in February with the release of a new Sydney schedule (Travel Today, February 6).

The airline attributed the latest change of heart to “continued high operating costs” combined with low yields on a number of international routes.

“Air Austral believes the proposed restructure represents a sensible and responsible operational strategy in the current challenging climate,” the statement said.

The carrier began flying to Australia in 2009 but has seen poor load factors.

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