Air Tahiti Nui Adds Seattle To Paris Flight

Air Tahiti Nui Adds Seattle To Paris Flight

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Air Tahiti Nui recently added a new route to Seattle. It looks like the airline has some interesting plans for Seattle service next year.

Air Tahiti Nui expands Seattle service to Paris

Air Tahiti Nui operates a new 2x weekly flight between Papeete (PPT) and Seattle (SEA) using a Boeing 787-9. The initial plan was for the route to be suspended between June 12 and September 4, 2023. Presumably this is because the carrier’s fleet consists of just four Boeing 787-9s, so the airline really has to prioritize routes.

There’s some good news on that front for those in the Pacific Northwest — Air Tahiti Nui has not only restored the Papeete to Seattle route for the summer of 2023, but extended it. For next summer, Air Tahiti Nui will operate a new 2x weekly Papeete (PPT) to Paris (CDG) route via Seattle (SEA). The service will operate with the following schedule, as noted by Aero Routes:

TN58 Papeete to Seattle departing 11:45PM arriving 12:10PM (+1 day)
TN58 Seattle to Paris departing 2:35PM arriving 9:05AM (+1 day)

TN57 Paris to Seattle departing 12:05PM arriving 1:20PM
TN57 Seattle to Papeete departing 3:35PM arriving 10:05PM

As of now, Air Tahiti Nui’s schedule reflects the routing via Seattle, though it’s not yet possible to book just the Seattle to Paris route. However, I’d expect that will change, as the airline should have pick-up rights there (that Seattle to Paris flight isn’t even technically a fifth freedom flight, since Tahiti is part of France, so…).

Air Tahiti Nui is expanding Seattle service

What’s the logic for Air Tahiti Nui’s Seattle to Paris flight?

French Polynesia is obviously popular with visitors from Metropolitan France, though it’s more or less on the other side of the globe, nearly 10,000 miles away. As a result, Air Tahiti Nui exclusively operates one stop service between Papeete and Paris.

Historically this route operates via Los Angeles, with the following schedule:

TN8 Papeete to Los Angeles departing 11:45PM arriving 10:35AM (+1 day)
TN8 Los Angeles to Paris departing 1:30PM arriving 9:05AM (+1 day)

TN7 Paris to Los Angeles departing 12:05PM arriving 2:15PM
TN7 Los Angeles to Papeete departing 4:30PM arriving 10:05PM

Essentially what Air Tahiti Nui is doing is rerouting some service to Paris via Seattle rather than Los Angeles:

  • During this period next summer, Air Tahiti Nui will reduce Papeete to Paris via Los Angeles service from 7x weekly to 5x weekly, with the addition of 2x weekly Papeete to Paris via Seattle service
  • I would assume that this reflects that Air Tahiti Nui is seeing strong demand for its new Seattle flight; obviously a significant number of passengers on these US flights are simply connecting enroute to Paris, so the question is how the airline can most profitably fill the other seats between the United States and either Papeete or Paris
  • The two routes (via Los Angeles or Seattle) are roughly the same length, as they’re within 35 miles of one another
  • Air Tahiti Nui has a partnership with Alaska Airlines, so perhaps the airline can get some feed for its Seattle to Paris service
Air Tahiti Nui is mixing up Paris service

This is no doubt a cool development, though a 2x weekly flight between Seattle and Paris for a few months won’t do much to build up awareness among consumers in the market.

Air Tahiti Nui’s Boeing 787-9 business class

Bottom line

Air Tahiti Nui’s new Seattle service seems to be performing well. Initially the airline was going to suspend Seattle service in the (northern) summer of 2023, but that plan has changed. Air Tahiti Nui will maintain this service between June and September of 2023, and even expand it on to Paris.

This is an interesting development, and I’m curious if we might see the Paris service split between Los Angeles and Seattle in the long run.

What do you make of Air Tahiti Nui’s new Seattle to Paris route?

Conversations (15)
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  1. Chuck Guest

    As a regular on the Delta Seattle to Paris run, pleased to see some competition.

  2. GipperSEA Guest

    I still don’t get the timing of the leg from
    SEA into PPT. It arrives way too late for a island hopper flight to Bora Bora, Moorea, Teitiaroa, etc. so you’d have to add an extra night on Tahiti near PPT to your trip. Even though I live in Seattle, I’d still do SEA-LAX-PPT on the outbound and then use the Seattle direct return.

  3. iamhere Guest

    Don't forget that Air France operates between LAX and PPT

  4. iamhere Guest

    So they canceled LAX for SEA?
    In the future, you may be right that some of the flights may be LAX and some SEA.

  5. Brianair Guest

    Meanwhile SFO is the monkey in the middle that’s stuck with the trash that is United and French Bee…

    1. TimR Guest

      I would argue that Polaris is the best biz product available to PPT (direct aisle access, rather than 2-2-2 for TN), Air France flies old planes from LAX

  6. Jon Guest

    Does anyone know if Air Tahiti Nui allows small dogs in business class? I am always for ways to fly with my dog in business to and from Europe- Lufthansa and Iberia are the only options I can find. Iberia is really difficult schedule and cost wise and Lufthansa/star isn't preferred for miles reasons (but this is what I generally do).

    Thanks!

  7. Eric Guest

    Makes sense to have the shiney new experience plane do SOMETHING other than sit in SEA given the low frequency. It may not end up being profitable, bit at least it will generate revenue.

  8. echino Gold

    Ben, you didn't mention how to best redeem miles for that flight when it becomes bookable?

  9. Rico Gold

    Living in Seattle, I'm all for new flights to Europe without the huge surcharges on British Airways. That said, I'm currently peeved at Air Tahiti Nui for changing my March 2023 AA award ticket to New Zealand via PPT yesterday. The PPT-AKL leg was changed to TWO DAYS later messing up my subsequent plans. Apparently, they changed the flight on my original date and time to a code share red-eye flight with Air New Zealand....

    Living in Seattle, I'm all for new flights to Europe without the huge surcharges on British Airways. That said, I'm currently peeved at Air Tahiti Nui for changing my March 2023 AA award ticket to New Zealand via PPT yesterday. The PPT-AKL leg was changed to TWO DAYS later messing up my subsequent plans. Apparently, they changed the flight on my original date and time to a code share red-eye flight with Air New Zealand. Since AA isn't a partner with Air New Zealand, I have to wait 2 days for the next Air Tahiti Nui award flight or pay cash for the Air New Zealand leg. Ugh.

    I understand that some people wouldn't be upset about spending two days in Tahiti; however, arriving at 7pm and leaving at 7am it's really only 1.5 days. This isn't enough time to leave the main island, plus the rest of the NZ trip is already booked and I'd have to redo it all.

  10. Jim Guest

    Doesn't AF also do a Paris-LA-Tahiti run 3x/week? (And it will be possible to took the same on Delta next year, though that's not marketed as such.) AS has a strong operation at LAX, so it's not strictly necessary to switch to SEA for feed. But, I'm thinking, with multiple (cooperating) competitors, it's not the worst idea to provide other options...

    1. Joe Jones Guest

      You couldn't fly Delta Paris-LA-Tahiti due to cabotage rules. Might get away with it on separate tickets but it would be risky.

    2. Icarus Guest

      No restrictions if you book AF marketed, so you can

    3. Joe Jones Guest

      At least one of the segments has to be operated by a French carrier. Similar to flying from the US mainland to GUM/SPN.

    4. Eskimo Guest

      I don't think cabotage could be applied or enforceable here.
      DL could easily use different flight numbers at LAX.
      Needing to clear US immigration at LAX should be an acceptable excuse.

      Now if DL were to fly nonstop, that would be cabotage.

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Chuck Guest

As a regular on the Delta Seattle to Paris run, pleased to see some competition.

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GipperSEA Guest

I still don’t get the timing of the leg from SEA into PPT. It arrives way too late for a island hopper flight to Bora Bora, Moorea, Teitiaroa, etc. so you’d have to add an extra night on Tahiti near PPT to your trip. Even though I live in Seattle, I’d still do SEA-LAX-PPT on the outbound and then use the Seattle direct return.

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iamhere Guest

Don't forget that Air France operates between LAX and PPT

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