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A Dream Come True – Air Tahiti Nui’s Tahitian Dreamliner Takes Flight

November 15, 2018 Aviation No Comments Email Email

Air Tahiti Nui’s first Tahitian Dreamliner has made its inaugural flight from Papeete to Auckland, starting an exciting, new chapter for the French Polynesian flag carrier on the eve of its 20th anniversary.

The first of four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners that the airline is set to receive over the next 12 months, ‘Fakarava’ arrived at Auckland Airport on November 8, 2018, to a celebratory water arch and special Maori welcome.

French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch and Air Tahiti Nui Chief Executive Officer Michel Monvoisin were among those onboard the historic first flight.

Other dignitaries who joined the celebrations at the airport included Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna, Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Premier of Niue Sir Toke Talagi and New Zealand’s Minister of Pacific Peoples Aupito Su’a William Sio.

Speaking at the event, newly-appointed Air Tahiti Nui General Manager Pacific Daniel Eggenberger said the Tahitian Dreamliner was a fantastic product.

“Australian and New Zealand travellers will benefit from a new, third cabin on the aircraft. Our new Moana Premium Economy class features 20 inch wide seats with an eight inch recline in a 2-3-2 configuration,” Mr Eggenberger said.

Mr Eggenberger helped launch the aircraft just eight days into the job.

“Being here in New Zealand and Australia and being responsible for these markets is a dream come true. Being here today is like coming home,” he added.

French Polynesia President Edouard Fritch at Auckland Photo_Ollie Dale Auckland Airport

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The Dreamliner’s bold paint job brightened a dreary Auckland afternoon with its unique and striking livery featuring three shades of blue, a giant tiare flower – the largest decal ever on a B787 vertical fin – and a tattoo pattern representing the Polynesian symbols of strength, freedom, protection, continuity and prosperity.

The first look inside the new aircraft revealed a tropical colour scheme and Polynesian flourishes including Paul Gauguin paintings and traditional tifaifai prints on pillows.

Designed with space and comfort in mind, the Tahitian Dreamliner features 294 seats across three cabins.

  • In Poerava Business, the 30 Parallel Diamond seats by Rockwell Collins can transform into a 180° bed, around 200cm (78 inches) in length, configured in rows of 2-2-2.
  • The new Moana Premium Economy class rows are configured in 2-3-2, with the all new Z535 Zodiac Aerospace seat. Its unique structure gives the optimum space of 96.5cm (38 inches) between rows and a 20cm (8 inch) reclining capacity.
  • The Moana Economy has 232 Z300 Zodiac Aerospace seats, configured in rows of 9 (3-3-3), especially designed for long-haul voyages with an articulated seat base and reclining capacity of 15cm (6 inches) making them one of the most comfortable new generation seats.

The arrival of the first Dreamliner coincides with Air Tahiti Nui’s 20th anniversary this year. The airline’s first commercial flight departed Papeete for Los Angeles on November 20, 1998.

When the airline has received all four of its Tahitian Dreamliners by September 2019, their registration codes will join together to say ‘the warrior (TOA) going forward (MUA) in the great (NUI) canoe (VAA)’.

The Tahitian Dreamliner will operate three weekly services from Auckland to Papeete, connecting to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane via codeshare services with Qantas.

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