Air Tahiti Nui has become the latest in a long line of Boeing 787 customers having received its first B787-9. Based out of Faa’a airport, the airline operates long-haul flights connecting French Polynesia to the world. The airline has 4 Boeing 787-9 aircraft on order, with the delivery of the first marking a major milestone for the airline which currently flies 5 A340-300 aircraft. The airline will have a net loss of 1 aircraft as the B787s are due to replace the A340s.
Three Class Layout
The Tahitian B787 will introduce a new class to the airline who have previously only flown with business and economy. With the new aircraft, the airline will be introducing premium economy. This is clearly going to be a positive step for the airline, as with the right pricing, the class can be a serious money maker.
In addition to the new premium economy cabin, Air Tahiti Nui is giving business and economy a makeover. However, due to the addition of the 4.5 premium economy rows means that the B787 will actually carry 4 fewer passengers than the A340s. In fact, the aircraft will transport up to 30 business class passengers, 32 premium passengers, and 232 economy passengers.
Moana or Poerava
The cabins each have names related to Polynesian culture. Moana, for the economy and premium cabins, means ocean or sea. Poerava, on the other hand, reportedly means Black Pearl. It is a combination of the words poe and rava from the Tahitian language. Air Tahiti Nui has advertised the aircraft as coming equipped with the most advanced technology. This will include Panasonic’s in-flight entertainment system in 16″, 13″, and 12″ for business, premium, and economy respectively. The aircraft is also equipped with high-speed internet.
The Poerava business class product has seen a significant revamp with the airline introducing 180º full lie-flat beds. These seats will be arranged in a 2-2-2 arrangement, unfortunately meaning that not every passenger will have direct aisle access.
A small delivery service for the aircraft took place on Saturday. In attendance were the presidential delegation of Tahiti, members of staff from the Air Tahiti Nui head office, and Boeing staff.
The ceremony was marked with some traditional Polynesian dancing before an official ribbon cutting took place.
The aircraft is registered as F-OMUA with MUA being the Tahitian word for ‘Go Ahead”. The first B787s will begin to operate for the airline on November 7th flying to Auckland and Los Angeles.
What do you make of Air Tahiti Nui’s new B787-9? Would you like to travel on it? Let us know in the comments below!