Boeing, Air Lease Corporation and Air Tahiti Nui have celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner.
This is the first Boeing airplane to join the Tahitian airline, which plans to use the longest-range Dreamliner to replace aging A340s and connect its home base in the South Pacific with world cities such as Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles.
Air Tahiti Nui joins other carriers in the Pacific who operate long-distance routes in switching to the super-efficient and long-range 787-9.
The airplane can fly up to 7,635 nautical miles, while reducing fuel use and emissions by 20 to 25 per cent compared to older airplanes.
Air Tahiti Nui configured its new Dreamliner to seat 294 passengers in three classes.
The cabin features a new business class equipped with 30 full lie-flat seats, along with 32 premium economy seats.
“Our dream has finally become reality with the arrival of Air Tahiti Nui’s first 787-9 Dreamliner,” said Michel Monvoisin, chief executive of Air Tahiti Nui.
“The Tahitian Dreamliner will make flying to one of the world’s treasures an unforgettable experience, as we introduce new seats and a culturally inspired cabin on the 787.
“As we celebrate our 20th anniversary this year, the 787 Dreamliner will guide us towards another successful 20 years and beyond.”
The airline announced in 2015 it would lease two 787s through ALC and purchase two 787s directly from Boeing as part of its plan to upgrade its fleet for the future.
French Polynesia president Edouard Fritch and other government dignitaries joined the airline in celebrating the milestone delivery at Boeing’s South Carolina Delivery Centre.