Air Tahiti Nui Cutting Routes, Perhaps Partnering With Delta?

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…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This was bound to happen. I booked JFK-PPT twice in the past year, and both times, the scheduled flights were cancelled. The airline provided me with $125 (cash, surprisingly) each time to book myself on alternate carriers to get to LAX and catch the plane from there. The JFK departures were in theory a good idea, but even when they were running the schedule, they often cancelled these flights.

  2. It is a little discomforting to think that ATN can ever replace Air France. With one flight out of CDG every day, passengers must be aware that if they miss their flight-cancelled connecting flight, for instance- ATN has no contract with other companies although it stipulates and will charge them to rebook a seat on the following flight .
    Believe me their customer service would rather lose a customer than refund $250 or tell the customer he/she should have bought an insurance, which in both cases brings the ticket up to what Air France charges. So why even bother to switch airlines? Not to mention ATN did not even load my suitcase in the airplane on the way out to CDG.

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