Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight …

As the skies above us become more and more competitive every day, there are a few things an airline must be successful at – service, comfort, safety and cuisine.

On a recent trip to the States I flew Air Tahiti Nui via Papeete to LA.

Air Tahiti Nui operates one of the youngest fleets of Airbus A340-300 aircraft in the world. These new generation aircraft feature the quietest cabin in the sky while offering state-of-the-art technology and innovation.

Ideally suited for long-haul flights, the 294-passenger cabin features space and comfort in all cabins. Reliability and commonality with the Airbus family of A330 and A320 aircraft make the A340s highly competitive to operate and the four-engine configuration allows for maximum efficiency while surpassing twin-engine limitations on trans-oceanic flights.

All passengers are welcomed aboard by the fragrance the Tiare Tahiti gardenia, the sounds of Tahitian island music, and the beauty and comfort of the aircraft. When you decide to fly with them you will quickly see why Air Tahiti Nui is a very unique experience indeed.

It was the second time I had flown this airline. The only other time a very memorable holiday in Tahiti itself, so I was curious to see how their longer haul performance was. As the “brochure” says, the cabin is extremely quiet but it is in the service and French Polynesian friendliness and cuisine that Air Tahiti Nui wins my vote. Also, each seat on every flight is a virtual entertainment centre in itself. So all you need to do, as the Captain says, is “sit back, relax, enjoy the flight and let our fantastic cabin crew take care of you” (all in three languages).

Set up in 1996 and commencing operations in 1998 Air Tahiti Nui, with a route network linking the South Pacific to four continents, is the leading carrier to French Polynesia. The Government of French Polynesia is the major shareholder in the airline along with Tahitian private investors.

Every member of the Air Tahiti Nui crew is fluent in French, Tahitian, and English (as well as Japanese for the crew on their Japanese routes).

Air Tahiti Nui invited French Chef Michel Sarran, who has a 2-star Michelin rating, to impart his expert advice to the airline, so as to ensure the food was of the highest quality. So often people joke about airline food and how they never touch it. I used to be one of those people. But let me tell you this, the food on all four legs I flew to LAX and back was magnificent. It truly was like eating in a high class restaurant…36,000 feet above sea level.

FACTS:

Air Tahiti Nui flies direct to Papeete and onwards to Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo and in 2008 (their 10th anniversary) was voted world’s Best Airline – International by Travel and Leisure.

www.airtahitinui.co.nz



The Air Tahiti Nui fleet
Named after some of the most beautiful islands and atolls of French Polynesia.
Bora Bora – A340-300: F-oJtN – in service March 2002
Mangereva – A340-300: F-oJGF – in service April 2002
Rangiroa – A340-300: F-oSEA – in service January 2003
Moorea – A340-300: F-oSUN – in service February 2003
Nuku hiva – A340-300: Folov – in service June 2005