MIAMI – United Airlines (UA) and Hawaiian Airlines (HA) return to Papeete’s Tahiti International Airport (PPT), the former beginning June 3 and the latter starting services in August.

According to the French Air Journal, UA is resuming services from San Francisco (SFO), interrupted in February 2021 because of the COVID-19 epidemic, renewing its offer of three flights per week operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, configured with 48 Business seats, 21 in Premium Economy, and 188 in Main Cabin.

Flights are scheduled to depart SFO on days two, five, and six at 13:20 and arrive at PPT at 18:50. The return flights depart PPT at 21:15 and arrive in SFO at 08:20 with a flight time of 8h15. All times are local. UA is in direct competition with the French low-cost carrier Frenchbee (BF) on the same route and, indirectly, with Air France (AF) and Tahiti Nui (TN) on the PPT to Los Angeles (LAX) route.

UJnited Airlines Airbus 321-200 Neo N209HA – Photo ; Andrew Henderson/Airways

Hawaiian Airlines

The second carrier to resume flights to PPT is HA, absent since Spring 2020 from Tahiti for epidemic reasons, with flights from Honolulu-Daniel K. Inouye (HNL) at first scheduled from July 2021 but delayed to August and still subject to entry restrictions rules presently in application in Hawaii, discussions on travelers entry still ongoing between US and EU.

Air Tahiti Nui Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-OMUA – Photo : Max Langley/Airways

French Airlines

French airlines have already announced the resumption of summer services to PPT with TN planning to service the PPT to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) via LAX or Vancouver (YVR) with four to six flights/week while the PPT/LAX route to be flown two or three times per week.

Air France has scheduled flights from CDG to PPT via LAX or YVR covering the whole summer season. However, complying with the entry restrictions imposed by the US on entry of EU residents, AF is presently showing a schedule of two flights per week, on days two and six, departing CDG at 10h10, arriving PPT at 20h15. All times are local.

Air France Boeing 797-9 Dreamliner F-HRBA – Photo : Lorenzo Giacobbo/Airways

The return services depart PPT on days three and seven at 20h30 and arrive in CDG at 06:10 (+2 days), all flights transiting either via LAX or YVR. The schedule is published up to July 4 and AF will update the flight programs in function of the changing entry and travel restrictions.

On its part, BF has published a reduced schedule for June from, Paris-Orly (ORY), with flights on Wednesdays plus one lone flight on Sunday, June 27, all services being operated either via Pointe a Pitre (PTP), Fort de France (FDF), or SFO. For the month of July, flights are published for Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, all via SFO. Return flights depart PPT the same day and arrive two days later.

Frenchbee Airbus 350-900 F-HREU – Photo : Luca Flores/Airways

Featured image: United Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N29907. Photo: Ervin Eslami/Airways