French Polynesia’s Council of Ministers has approved a draft decree granting an air carrier license to low-cost startup, Motu Link Airline, for scheduled and ad-hoc inter-island flights ferrying passengers and freight.

In a statement, the Council announced the budget carrier would have a fleet of two ATR72-600s of undisclosed origin and plans to employ 162 people, but no further information on its ownership was disclosed.

At the request of the government, the airline, based in Papeete, would serve 12 destinations in the so-called “free trade zone”, starting with:

In a second phase, the company would consider extending its network to the airfields of Maupiti, Moorea, Nuku Hiva, Atuona, Rurutu, and Tubuai, the statement read. It hoped to capture 15% to 20% of the market share in these destinations.

ch-aviation research revealed the private company was registered in the Papeete trade and companies register in French Polynesia on January 29, 2021, as a simplified joint-stock company with a share capital of XPF5 million CFP franc (USD48,781). Its head-office is in Papeete and the chairman is listed as one Alexandre Mu, residing in Papeete, Tahiti. He was not immediately available for comment.