National airline Air Tahiti Nui will return to New Zealand ahead of schedule. Photo / Provided
Direct flights with Tahiti are returning to New Zealand from May, with Air Tahiti Nui advancing its schedule.
Originally scheduled for July, Tahiti’s national airline has accelerated its plans following the opening of New Zealand’s borders to international visitors.
The first Auckland-Papeete flight will resume on Thursday, May 5.
Pacific airline chief executive Daniel Eggenberger said it was good news to finally have a firm restart date after two long years.
While it was “very exciting” to move air links forward by two months, Eggenberger also thanked New Zealand’s Department of Transport for its support over the past two years.
Air Tahiti Nui retained cargo operations in Auckland and French Polynesia, receiving MIAC grants from the Ministry of Transport.
Air links from New Zealand and Australia have remained limited, despite the return of international tourists to Tahiti from May last year.
Tahiti Tourisme welcomed the announcement of direct links with New Zealand.
“The islands of Tahiti are particularly well suited for travel in a post-pandemic world,” the tourism board said. Their statement says travelers can “have confidence” in Tahiti’s safety as a destination.
The weekly Auckland-Papeete service will be increased to three times a week during the high season, from July 3 to August 9.
Air New Zealand has announced a return to Papeete from July 6.
Visit Tahiti, what you need to know
Tahiti welcomes travelers from New Zealand without quarantine. Currently, visitors over the age of 18 will need to be fully vaccinated. However, travelers will no longer be considered fully vaccinated if they have not received a third booster dose (Pfizer/Moderna/Astrazeneca) within 9 months of their second vaccination.
All travelers over the age of 12 boarding a flight to Tahiti must present proof of vaccination and a negative pre-departure Covid-19 test dated less than 24 hours before. It must be a PCR test.
All visitors must complete an ETIS travel authorization within 30 days of the flight.