Tahiti tourist exodus continues amid flight cancellations

Eight hundred passengers have been able to fly out of French Polynesia over the past two days as travel plans of thousands have been disrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The French High Commission in French Polynesia said since last Friday a total of 2600 tourists had been able to fly out of Tahiti.

This Friday, a last flight bound for France is scheduled to take off before regular services are suspended until at least late April.

The High Commission said since the start of the crisis an air bridge set up with the domestic carrier Air Tahiti had allowed 2,500 holiday makers to fly from the outer islands back to Tahiti.

Changes to flight schedules and cancellations created uncertainty for many travellers who complained to the authorities.

Police assisted in setting up separate zones at the airport for those having valid tickets for cancelled flights and those placing themselves on waiting lists.

The French government says basic air links between Paris and France's overseas territories will be continued.