Local airline Air Tahiti Nui has restarted its flagship Dreamliner services between Papeete and Los Angeles, as French Polynesia has relaxed entry restrictions. On May 2, the four times a week services restarted. While flights through to Paris via Los Angeles have not yet resumed, Air Tahiti Nui hopes to resume those services by early June.
French Polynesia has started welcoming visitors back into the country after having done a good job combatting the virus and with the vaccination rollout well underway. On May 1, Tahiti re-opened to flights from the USA prompting Air Tahiti Nui to resume their flights to Los Angeles.
That said, Visitors will need to be in possession of a COVID-19 CDC vaccination certificate on arrival. Passengers have to upload their certificate to French Polynesian health authorities before traveling to Tahiti. Additionally, only residents of French Polynesia and those who have stayed a minimum of 30 days prior to arrival in the United States before traveling will be allowed to fly.
During the month of May, Air Tahiti Nui’s fleet of Boeing 787-9s will jet back and forth between Papeete and Los Angeles four times a week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
In June, the frequencies will increase to daily flight with some variations in flight departure and arrival times. The changes coincide with Air Tahiti Nui’s planned resumption of services through to Paris. From June 3, the airline is targeting Paris with six return services a week.
The flights will be schedules to depart LAX at 13:30 local time daily, except on Tuesdays. The Air Tahiti Nui Dreamliners will head through the night and land in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 09:05 the following morning.
After a three-hour refresh, the Dreamliners will depart Paris at 12:05 local time daily, except Tuesday and return to Los Angeles, halting there later that day and then continuing onto Papeete.
In addition, the airline is scheduling twice-weekly flights between Papeete and Auckland and Papeete and Tokyo Narita later this year. Of course, these plans all depend on the continued success of the vaccination rollout, not just in French Polynesia but elsewhere too. The flights are also dependent on the respective governments allowing relatively easy travel.
The airline has also made some modifications to its inflight offering. Air Tahiti Nui says, “The onboard catering offer has been simplified to limit contact. The aperitif and meal services are combined. Meals are provided in a single passage in all travel classes and concentrated in a single tray service, including desserts for business class. The choice of wines and drinks is also reduced with the same purpose – limiting interactions and serving time.
“For the same purpose, the magazines onboard are removed, excluding the safety sheet, modified for single use only. However, passengers can view a selection of press and magazines, in-flight magazines, and meal service menus on our onboard entertainment system.”
Lounge access in Papeete and Los Angeles continues to remain off the books for premium cabin passengers and Air Tahiti Nui’s best customers.