Air Tahiti Nui is pulling out of the New York-JFK market. JFK-Papeete didn’t do especially well for them, even during high season, and they previous pulled out of JFK-Paris. They’ve also ended their Osaka service, and are pulling out of Sydney.
This leaves Auckland, Los Angeles, and Tokyo from Papeete and Paris from Los Angeles (providing one-stop service from Tahiti, matching Air France’s offering and allowing their politicians to visit the administrative bosses while flying their state carrier).
Fewer than 200,000 people visited Tahiti in 2008. I seem to recall a statistic (which I never validated) that more people arrive in Hawaii in a day than in Bora Bora in a year.
While I don’t always trust with 100% certainty the accuracy of Tahiti Presse stories, there’s been some speculation amongst frequent flyers about what would happen to the Northwest Airlines – Air Tahiti Nui partnership once Worldperks is swallowed up into Delta’s Skymiles program. The piece suggests an Air Tahiti Nui-Delta partnership, which is somewhat hopeful. Of course, such a partnership has been rumored for a long time.
Currently Air Tahiti Nui partners with American Airlines and with Northwest. I redeemed American miles for a 2005 first class trip to Tahiti and on to Australia (returning on Qantas). A Delta partnership would give Skymiles what I consider to be a second decent redemption option in addition to premium class awards on Singapore, at least if Delta allows redemptions from the U.S. to New Zealand on the carrier…