New Caledonia airline resuming some flights after unrest

A New Caledonian airline, Aircalin, says it will be gradually resuming commercial flights after deadly rioting in the capital of Noumea paralyzed the country's main airport for weeks.

Officials from Tontouta International Airport say some domestic and international flights are resuming, but the airport remains closed to the public. They advise passengers to go to another airport, about 50 kilometers away, and take a shuttle to the main airport, since access to the main airport has yet to be definitely secured.

The French government deployed security personnel to quell the deadly violence in Noumea three weeks ago. Dozens of barricades set up by protestors have been dismantled, but some obstacles still block the main roads.
Violence erupted last month after the French parliament sought to grant voting rights to French citizens in New Caledonia. The indigenous Kanak people fear this will prevent their voices from being fully heard, and go against their ambition for independence.

New Caledonia's pro-independence party urged in an open letter to French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday that he drop the voting reform. It also suggests the issue of barricades will persist unless the "activists mobilized at roadblocks" are convinced of progress.