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3/4/2003 - Nelson Levy, Air Tahiti Nui CEO, Named Asia/Pacific Airline Executive of Year 2002

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 4, 2003--Nelson Levy, Chairman and CEO of Air Tahiti Nui, has been named Asia/Pacific Airline Executive of the Year for 2002 by the prestigious U.S. travel trade magazine, Travel Agent.

Levy was singled out for his leadership of the flag-carrier for French Polynesia which has grown to become a vital component in the self-sustaining economic growth of the region and anchor for international tourism. The airline has increased its fleet four-fold since it inaugurated service in November of 1998, and now operates four ultra-modern high-technology A-340-300's, the long-distance leader in commercial jetliners.

"Despite woeful airline industry conditions which have caused record losses, bankruptcies and curtailment of services, Air Tahiti Nui has systematically expanded its flights, a tribute to the vision of Nelson Levy and Tahiti's unique cultural appeal and natural beauty," said Wally Sumner, Air Tahiti Nui's Vice President - North America. "As other carriers abandoned the Europe/U.S./Tahiti market, Air Tahiti Nui stepped into the breach and succeeded by offering reliable high-frequency services at superior passenger service levels," he added.

"The honor bestowed upon me is really for the entire airline and all its employees," Mr. Levy said. "I would like to thank the government of French Polynesia, and particularly our president, Gaston Flosse, for providing the financial support and inspiration for our world-class airline."

Tahiti tourism depends on the lift provided by its international air carriers, Sumner pointed out. "As new hotel properties open and cruise companies place more ships in French Polynesia, the travel trade is reliant on Air Tahiti Nui to provide sufficient seats to meet the demand. Under Nelson Levy's leadership, Air Tahiti Nui has provided the necessary support for the entire economic tourism fabric of the Islands," Sumner noted.

Air Tahiti Nui will offer 13 flights per week during the peak summer 2003 schedule between Los Angeles and Papeete and 5 weekly flights nonstop from Los Angeles to Paris. The carrier will also offer 1 flight a week from Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand with an en-route stop in Papeete. Continuing service will be provided to Sydney and Melbourne, Australia in a code-share agreement with Qantas. The airline also offers 3 weekly flights to Japan.

To contact Air Tahiti Nui for more information, the public is invited to call the reservations center at 877/824-4846 or visit the airline's web site at

CONTACT: Air Tahiti Nui, Miami
Jeff Kriendler, 305/866-2115


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