Air Tahiti Nui Want To Launch The World’s New Longest Flight: Paris to Tahiti Direct

Update: One Mile At A Time has reported that the statement was lost in translation and this flight route won’t happen. Read the lowdown here. 

Singapore Airlines should be on the lookout as Air Tahiti Nui looks to steal the crown. The carrier would look to operate direct flights between Paris and Tahiti with their new B787s. The flight is long enough that if it went ahead, it would become the world’s longest flight at 9,765 mi over 20 hours. Currently, the flight makes a stop in Los Angeles.

Longest Route Competition

Currently, the title of the world’s longest flight is held by Singapore Airlines, operating an 18h 40m flight from Singapore to New York’s Newark Airport. The route between Singapore and New York is 8,290 nm as the crow flies and is operated using an A350ULR aircraft. By launching this flight, Air Tahiti Nui would be flying the 9,765 mi route non-stop.

Tahiti to Paris
The new route would be operated by one of the airline’s new Boeing 787 aircraft. Photo: Air Tahiti Nui

No Stop In LA

Currently, Air Tahiti Nui operates a daily flight to Los Angeles. Twice a week, the flight operated by the Polynesian carrier continues on to Paris. These flights to Paris are currently operated using one of the Airline’s older A340 aircraft. Air Tahiti Nui is halfway through receiving 4 B787 aircraft which it has ordered from Boeing. The first of these was delivered in October, going on to make its first flight for the airline in November. Now two of four have been delivered, and it is expected that the final two B787s will be delivered by September 2019.

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Air Tahiti Nui would also be competing on the route itself. While they already operate flights between Tahiti and Paris with a stop in Los Angeles, they’re not alone. Recently, a new low-cost long-haul carrier called French Bee has also begun to serve the same route, however, moving the stopover to San Francisco. Like Air Tahiti Nui, their flight operates twice a week.

Tahiti to Paris
The route from Tahiti direct to Paris is similar to that with a stop in Los Angeles. Image: GCMaps

Air Tahiti Nui CEO,Mathieu Bechonne, told Airways Magazine: “This plane [B787-9] would allow us to fly nonstop from Tahiti to Paris. We would beat the current Singapore Changi-Newark flight in terms of time and distance. We are really thinking about it. The Los Angeles Int’l stop is not really that comfortable for our French passengers.”

Tahiti to Paris
Imagine sitting here for 20 hours! Photo: Air Tahiti Nui

New Aircraft – New Look

The new B787s ordered by Air Tahiti Nui are not your stock B787s. While the exterior of the aircraft sports and elaborate blue design, it is inside where things get interesting. The first thing passengers notice are the brightly coloured seats. The usual dull grey bulkheads are instead replaced with colourful ocean scenes. Air Tahiti has put quite a bit of thought into passenger comfort.

However, Simple Flying doesn’t believe that it would necessarily be the most comfortable for a 20-hour flight. In business class despite introducing lie-flat beds, Air Tahiti Nui still expects window passengers to forgo direct aisle access. We won’t even go into our thoughts of 20 hours in economy!

Tahiti to Paris
At least the views are nice! Photo: Air Tahiti Nui

Will It Work?

Air Tahiti Nui clearly has passenger demand for flights between Tahiti and Paris, but will this transfer to non-stop flights. Currently LAX is a midpoint where passengers can get off the aircraft and stretch their legs, maybe even grab a coffee. This breaks up the flight into two effectively. Without the stop, passengers will be confined to their chair for the majority of the 20 odd hour flight. While this doesn’t necessarily affect those looking to get from A-B as quickly as possible, it may not prove that popular with passengers.

Do you think direct flights from Tahiti to Paris would be a success? Let us know in the comments down below!

  1. I wonder if anyone knows the passenger load which could be carried on such a long flight, or whether the fuel tanks are large enough. The A350ULR traded about 80 passengers for its ultra long range capability, but had to modify the fuel system to carry enough fuel. It would be strange to have to re-configure the new 787’s while they are still almost brand new.

  2. Personally I can’t think of a worse idea. 20 hrs on those seats forget about it. I use Air Tahiti to break up the flight from Los Angeles to Auckland and stop over in Tahiti for a day sometimes 2 or three days makes the trip so much easier. But I’m retired and not in a hurry. Tahiti a great place to stop over I go down to the waterfront park and eat delicious food from all over the Pacific at the food wagons

  3. It is crazy that they claim this was a traduction error. They knew what they were suggesting, they just spoke without pulling out a calculator.

  4. Highly unlikely. Singapore Airlines can do it because of the high numbers of business travellers willing to fork out for business and premium economy, as well as the ‘convenience’ for not having a stop-over.

    For Tahiti, a major part of the economy is tourism, and somehow I don’t see the regular tourist paying top dollar to make a 20 hour flight in economy. As seen with the SIA example, it will be much cheaper for people to take a one-stop flight.

    Furthermore, the range of a 787-9 is about 7 600nm – and this trip is over 2 000nm more (2300+ miles, 3700+ km) than the advertised figure, meaning that the plane won’t be able to do it with a full load of passengers (again, similar to SIA’s ULR flights), but do they have the market size to make it premium heavy or all-premium to cover their costs?


  5. I wondered why Air Tahiti Nui did not chose to fly from Tahiti with a stopover in Vancouver en route to Paris, instead of a stopover in Los Angeles? In LAX, as with any American airports, all transit passengers have to go through US immigration and security, which is quite stressful and not such a good experience.

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