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8/23/2002 - Air Tahiti Nui has carried a record number of passengers on the Los Angeles to Papeete sector this summer

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 23, 2002--Air Tahiti Nui, the international flag carrier of French Polynesia, today reported that it has carried a record number of passengers on the Los Angeles to Papeete sector this summer, according to the airline's Vice President-North America, Wally Sumner. The increase in demand is a result of Air Tahiti Nui's acquisition of 2 new Airbus A340-300 aircraft which has enabled the airline to boost its schedule from the 3 weekly nonstop flights it operated between the United States and Tahiti during the summer of 2001 to 8 weekly frequencies in 2002. This summer's schedule includes unprecedented daily service, with two flights offered on Sundays to Tahiti. Despite the global downturn in air travel and related reduction in capacity initiated by major airlines, Air Tahiti Nui has added seats to one of the world's most romantic travel destinations," Sumner said. "We have also inaugurated 3 weekly services between Los Angeles and Paris which has enjoyed load factors averaging 90%," he added. The airline also announced that it has plans to acquire two additional A340-300 aircraft for next summer's flight schedule. With the arrival of these two aircraft in March 2003, Air Tahiti Nui will utilize a fleet of four sister A340-300s, returning the A340-200 it is currently leasing. These four aircraft are slated to operate 6 flights a week from Los Angeles to Papeete and 5 a week from Paris (CDG) to Los Angeles, continuing to Papeete for a total of 11 flights a week between Los Angeles and Papeete. Sumner noted that Tahiti remains an extremely popular vacation choice for North American travelers. "For honeymoons, anniversaries and special life milestones, the 118 Islands of French Polynesia are a magnet which continue to attract leisure travelers seeking a unique vacation experience," Sumner pointed out. The airline, which began operating in November of 1998 with 1 Airbus A340-200, now operates a fleet of three long distance 4-engine jets to North America, Japan, Europe and New Zealand/Australia from its home base in Papeete. American Airlines AAdvantage Frequent Flyer's can use their mileage for Air Tahiti Nui flights. Air Tahiti Nui has a code share agreement with QANTAS Airlines which allows the airlines to provide a number of travel options between the United States, the South Pacific and Australia/New Zealand. 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


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