Violent Protests Cause Shutdown of Two New Caledonia Airports

Violent Protests Cause Shutdown of Two New Caledonia Airports

New Caledonia is currently facing significant disruptions in air travel due to escalating violence following a controversial constitutional debate in Paris. Both of Noumea’s key airports, La Tontouta International and Magenta Domestic, have been shut down, affecting local and international flights. The situation has forced the flag carrier Aircalin to cancel all services, impacting numerous travelers and other foreign airlines operating in the region.

Air Traffic Standstill

1. Airport Closures and Flight Cancellations

In response to the unrest, which erupted after the debate over constitutional changes presumably favoring France’s governance, both of Noumea’s airports have been closed. Blockades at La Tontouta International Airport have halted all international travel, while Magenta Airport has ceased domestic operations. This has led to significant disruptions, with Aircalin, the national carrier, canceling all its flights. Other international airlines have also been forced to suspend their services to and from the island.

2. Government and Security Response

The local government has imposed curfews to control the situation, and the French government has dispatched 600 military personnel to restore order. The presence of road blockades, alongside reports of fires and gunshots, has heightened tensions across the island, necessitating a robust security response to ensure public safety.

Impact on Travelers

1. Flight Rescheduling

Aircalin has publicly announced the suspension of various services between May 14 and May 16, affecting routes to Auckland, Sydney, Nadi, Singapore, Tokyo, Papeete, Brisbane, and Singapore again. Travelers are advised to check Aircalin’s website for the latest updates and potential rescheduling of flights

2. Aircraft and Fleet Information

Aircalin’s fleet comprises modern Airbus aircraft, including two A320neos and two A330neos, boasting an average age of just 3.7 years. Air Calédonie, primarily serving domestic routes, operates four ATR 72-600 aircraft.


The closure of airports and the suspension of flights in New Caledonia have caused significant inconvenience and disruption for travelers. The situation remains fluid, and authorities are working to stabilize the region and resume normal air operations. Travelers are encouraged to stay informed through official channels and adjust their plans accordingly.


Why are Noumea’s airports closed?

Noumea’s airports are closed due to safety concerns following violence triggered by a constitutional debate in Paris, which has led to public unrest in New Caledonia.

Which airlines are affected by the disruptions in New Caledonia?

The national carrier Aircalin has canceled all flights. Other foreign airlines with routes to and from New Caledonia are also affected by the airport closures

What should travelers do if their flight is canceled?

Travelers should contact their airline for the latest information and guidance on rescheduling their flights. It’s also advisable to monitor updates from official sources for any changes to the current travel advisories.

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