Air Tahiti Nui
|Founded||31 October 1996|
|Commenced operations||20 November 1998|
|Hubs||Faa'a International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Club Tiare|
|Headquarters||Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia, France|
|Key people||Michel Monvoisin, CEO|
Air Tahiti Nui is the flag carrier of the French overseas collectivity of French Polynesia, with its head office in Papeete, Tahiti. It operates long-haul flights from its home base at Faa'a International Airport, with a fleet consisting of four Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Air Tahiti Nui was established on 31 October 1996 and commenced flight operations on 20 November 1998. It was the first international long-haul airline based in French Polynesia, which was formed to develop inbound tourism. The Government of French Polynesia is the major shareholder (84.4%) along with other local investors. Air Tahiti Nui had 782 employees around 2007.
After years running a deficit, Air Tahiti Nui faced possible bankruptcy in 2011. The President of French Polynesia, Oscar Temaru, called for all eligible workers in the territory help bail out the carrier by voluntarily paying a third of their income into a rescue fund. After four years of deficit, the company started making profits again in 2015.
In May 2015, Air Tahiti Nui announced its intention to replace its entire fleet, then consisting of five Airbus A340-300 aircraft. They would be replaced by four Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which would be delivered in 2018 and 2019. Air Tahiti Nui operated its last A340 service in September 2019.
In April 2018, in anticipation of its new fleet of Boeing 787-9s, Air Tahiti Nui launched its redesigned brandmark and updated typography. The redesigned logo is a joint collaboration between Future Brand and Polynesian contemporary artist Alexander Lee. The re-drawn logo represents a tiare flower, the airline's emblem from the start of its history, depicted in a two-thirds view, with the profile of a vahine (woman, in Tahitian) in its pistil, a nod to Tahiti's reputation for beautiful women and flowers in the South Seas.
In March 2020, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and as an impact of restrictions by the United States on international flights, Air Tahiti Nui operated the world's longest domestic flight with a lightly-loaded Boeing 787-9. The aircraft flew nonstop from Faa'a International Airport serving Papeete to Charles de Gaulle Airport serving Paris, skipping the then-restricted intermediate stop at Los Angeles International Airport, and traversing a great-circle distance of 15,715 kilometres (9,765 mi) between the two airports. The airline's flights between Papeete and Paris were later adjusted to make technical stops interchangeably between Pointe-à-Pitre and Vancouver International Airport. Air Tahiti Nui's record was later eclipsed by French Bee in May 2020, which operated its own flight from Papeete to Paris, but to Orly Airport, covering a great-circle distance of 15,728 kilometres (9,773 mi).
As of August 2019, Air Tahiti Nui serves the following destinations:
|Country or territory||City||Airport||Notes||Refs|
|Brazil||Campinas||Viracopos International Airport||Terminated|
|France||Paris||Charles de Gaulle Airport|
|France (French Polynesia)||Papeete||Faa'a International Airport||Hub|
|Japan||Osaka||Kansai International Airport||Terminated|||
|Tokyo||Narita International Airport|
|New Zealand||Auckland||Auckland International Airport|
|United States||Los Angeles||Los Angeles International Airport|
|New York City||John F. Kennedy International Airport||Terminated|||
The airline also codeshares with the SNCF, the French national railway operator.
Air Tahiti Nui formerly operated the following aircraft:
Air Tahiti Nui's aircraft livery over its history included different shades of blue representing the ocean, lagoon and sky of Tahiti for the upper half of the aircraft, extending the length of its fuselage, with white for the lower half as well as the aircraft's engines. The flag of French Polynesia is placed toward the front of the aircraft, behind the cockpit windows, with the aircraft's given name written underneath it. The flag is also incorporated into the livery's design, with red and white stripes that extend for part of the fuselage's length underneath the blue color. A tiare flower, the airline's logo, is placed onto the aircraft's vertical stabilizer (tailfin), with circular waves of alternating light and dark blues emanating from the flower, resembling water ripples.
With the introduction of the airline's Boeing 787-9 aircraft in October 2018, the airline's new livery incorporated markings derived from traditional Tahitian tattoos to the fuselage, the blue color used for most of the livery was changed to a darker shade, and the airline's name written on the forward fuselage was changed to the airline's new wordmark. However, despite the airline's tiare flower logo undergoing a visual change during the airline's overall rebranding, the logo used on the aircraft's tailfin was largely unchanged from the previous version.
Air Tahiti Nui's names for its aircraft are predominantly derived from various islands and atolls across French Polynesia, including Bora Bora, Fakarava, Mangareva, Moorea, Nuku Hiva, Rangiroa and Tetiaroa. An exception is a Boeing 787-9 named after Tupaia, a historical Tahitian navigator.
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- Flight International 27 March 2007.
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- "Air Tahiti Nui finalizes order for two B787-9s". ch-aviation. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "Air Tahiti Nui partners with Boeing for new aircraft". Air Tahiti Nui (Press release). 2 March 2015.
- "Air Tahiti Nui moves last A340 service to late-Sep 2019". Routesonline. 14 August 2019. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
- "Air Tahiti Nui reveals its new brand!" (Press release). Air Tahiti Nui. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
- Clark, Johnny (29 April 2018). "Air Tahiti Nui Calls On FutureBrand And Tahitian Studio Alexander Lee To Rebrand". TheDesignAir.
- Street, Francesca (20 March 2020). "Virus creates world's longest passenger flight". CNN. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
- "Air Tahiti Nui - New Record For World's Longest Flight - Tahiti to Paris - WORKING" (Press release). Air Tahiti Nui. 19 March 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- "Coronavirus COVID-19: Flight Schedule Update" (Press release). Air Tahiti Nui. 23 March 2020. Archived from the original on 23 July 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Liu, Jim (15 June 2020). "Air Tahiti Nui July 2020 Paris CDG routing adjustment". Routesonline. Informa Markets. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "World record for the longest flight beaten by French bee between two French airports: 16,129 kilometers between Tahiti-Faa'a and Paris-Orly" (PDF) (Press release). French bee. 15 May 2020. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
- "Route Map - Air Tahiti Nui".
- "Air Tahiti Nui to suspend direct Sydney flights". Pacific Islands Report. Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
- "Air Tahiti Nui: Celebrating 15 years over the South Pacific". Airways Magazine. Airways International, Inc. 27 September 2020. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
- "Profile on Air Tahiti Nui". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 30 October 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "Air Tahiti Nui / LATAM begins codeshare service from late-Aug 2018". Routesonline. 5 October 2018.
- "Air Tahiti Nui Fleet Details and History". Planespotters.net.
- Liu, Jim (22 March 2018). "Air Tahiti Nui schedules Boeing 787 Nov 2018 launch". Routesonline. UBM (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- Tolj, Zvonimir (6 June 2018). "The new Air Tahiti Nui Dreamliner livery is here". Airways Magazine. Airways International, Inc. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
- "RAPPORT D’OBSERVATIONS DEFINITIVES SEML AIR TAHITI NUI Exercices 2008 à 2011." (Archive) Chambre territoriale des comptes de Polynésie française. (in French)
Media related to Air Tahiti Nui at Wikimedia Commons