Papeete, Tahiti (January 30th 2013) – Etienne Howan, Chairman and CEO of Air Tahiti Nui, today confirmed the two year plan to update the inflight entertainment system and cabin seating onboard its fleet of Airbus A340-300 aircraft.
The airline, headquartered in Papeete, Tahiti, operates five A340-300 aircraft from its Tahiti base to Auckland, New Zealand, Tokyo, Japan, Paris and Los Angeles. It code shares with a number of carriers including American Airlines, Air France, Air New Zealand, Japan Air Lines, Qantas and the SNCF rail system in France to thirty seven additional cities.
The highlight of the new cabins is the new Inflight Entertainment System featuring an on demand access to a selection of 25 movies and 24 television programs, as well as magazines, games and music on every roundtrip journey. Amongst other amenities, the system features channels for kids and families as well as a Tahiti focused TV channel, “Tiare TV”, allowing passengers to get a taste of their upcoming vacation in the beautiful islands of Tahiti and allowing them to experience the destination the moment they step on board.
This new entertainment system is produced by IMS of Orange, California. RAVE’s unique “seat centric” system architecture delivers key features to the passenger with an easy to use touch screen approach. IMS has designed a slim, light weight, low power seat display allowing on-board spares and quick and easy maintenance.
All aircraft seats and interiors will be replaced and updated. Economy Class Moana will feature new comfort focused lightweight seats while retaining the popular two - four – two seating configuration. These seats are produced by the Geven company in Italy and will feature a wider than normal 18 inch seat with an average 32 inch pitch. The colors selected for the new seats and interior reflect the stunning beauty and charm of Polynesia. This was made possible with the work of Designescence based in Toulouse, France, who specialize in aircraft interior design.
The Poerava Business Class will be increased in capacity from its existing 24 seats to 32 seats. Based on the popular Sogerma “angled lie flat cocoon seat”, the new Business Class will provide more personal room and space, with a 60 inch seat pitch, while continuing to provide a two by two by two configuration, offering passengers a choice of only window and aisle seating.
Etienne Howan commented, “with this new equipment Air Tahiti Nui shares the same essential qualities and attributes of larger global brand airlines. We also take pride in completing this with a “boutique” feel and our exclusive Polynesian hospitality, to make our flights an enjoyable and genuine part of the travel experience to Tahiti”.
Air Tahiti Nui was voted as the, “Best Carrier in the South Pacific” for both 2011 and 2012 by the readers of Global Traveler Magazine.
SR Technics in Switzerland will bring its long-standing aircraft maintenance and engineering capabilities to design and carry out the complex cabin modification and installation of the new IFE system, in parallel with a heavy maintenance “C” check for all aircraft.
The aircraft will start to appear in service from mid-April with three of the planes updated by early June. They will initially be operated on the Los Angeles and Paris routes.
With the introduction of the new cabin configuration, the airline will phase out its Poerava First Class service system wide from April 1st. Air Tahiti Nui’s present aircraft are configured with a traditional three class, First, Business and Economy layout. The new configuration will feature two class of service, an expanded and enhanced Poerava Business Class and an upgraded Economy Class Moana.
The cost of the cabin reconfiguration is budgeted at $17 million dollars. The airline expects to achieve savings in its fuel cost through the installation of the new lightweight seats, reducing 3,700 kilos of weight per flight. It expects to generate additional revenues based on increased passenger demand for both the new Business Class and the new inflight entertainment and cabin system.
Mr. Howan concluded, “We are a small international airline and this project is important for us. It would have not been possible without the patronage of our worldwide customer base, the commitment of our Board of Directors and all Air Tahiti Nui staff members. I would like to thank our partners for their ongoing support and trust our customers will enjoy this new experience.”