Four die in clashes over rising airfares

Four die in clashes over rising airfares

Four people are reported to have died and nearly 24 injured as protests over rising air fares turned violent.

The unrest occurred in the South Pacific archipelago of New Caledonia during violent demonstrations over fare increases after local residents and protesters at the airport clashed, according to news agency reports

Several local airports on the islands were blockaded for more than 10 days as protesters complained that the price of local flights had become extortionate.

The deaths occurred on Mare, an island in the French overseas territory that is home to about 6,000 people.

Local carrier Air Caledonie warned that bankruptcy could be a possibility because of the demonstrations.

The disruption has forced the airline to suspend service on many of its most-profitable routes.

Islanders  fear the impact on the economy since the unrest comes at the beginning of the peak tourist season, according to new agency AFP.

It said  people were "protesting against the airline's new fare structure," though details of the changes were not clear from media reports.

The Guardian reported that the protests appear to be a flashpoint in "wider anger at the growing divide between rich and poor" in the territory.


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