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Three major airlines operate in French Polynesia: Air Tahiti Nui is French Polynesia's national flag carrier, Air Tahiti, Wan Air; all operate from Faa'a International Airport near Papeete. The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation French Polynesia is the regulatory body for aviation and SETIL airports manages the air navigation.
Airports in French Polynesia
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Air Tahiti Nui plans metal neutral alliance with Air France and partners as losses continue to mount
Air Tahiti Nui has announced a planned deeper alliance with Air France on the Los Angeles-Paris CDG route and is rolling out a refurbished fleet of A340-300 aircraft to allow it to compete better with rival South Pacific carriers. But profits remain elusive for the heavily indebted carrier which survives with the support of its French Polynesian Government majority owner, which appears to be resisting a much needed restructuring of the airline.
The far flung archipelago territory’s tourism industry is slowly recovering from the effects of the global financial crisis which saw visitor numbers fall more than 40%. But while French Polynesia is benefitting from growth in tourism from Australasians eager to venture beyond Fiji, the bigger spending European market remains in decline.
Air Tahiti Nui is also facing tougher competition from a rejuvenating Air Pacific, as well as Hawaiian Airlines which has launched services to Australia and New Zealand. All provide connections to the United States and in the case of Hawaiian, as far afield as New York, making each an attractive option for an island stop-over.