The Air Tahiti Nui airline is a key means by which tourists are able to reach the islands of Tahiti in comfort, according to SVP Commercial and Marketing Christopher Korenke: “We are a small but very fine international airline that has a presence in markets including Asia, the Americas, Europe and Oceania. Where we don’t have a presence, we have agreements with other carriers – so that there is a kind of passenger pipeline into our main gateways.”
A thriving business, Air Tahiti Nui is in the process of renewing its fleet, says Korenke. “We are switching from the Airbus 340 to the Dreamliner. We have already received two of them and expect another two in May and August. They offer a very premium product, but also nice seats in economy.”
The airline, which flies in and out of Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris and Sydney among others, puts a strong emphasis on quality, which is important given the upscale profile of the end destination, says Korenke: “While Tahiti is open to every segment, the luxury profile of the market has to be reflected in the onboard experience, so we provide our guests with a nice experience.”
While many tourists come to see the main island, there are 118 beautiful islands for visitors to sample. “We fly to the main island and then have co-operation agreements with domestic carriers that can take visitors on from there,” says Korenke. “But we have also opened up a new subsidiary: Tahiti Nui Helicopters. We saw a lack of civil helicopters in Tahiti, so we launched Tahiti Nui Helicopters as a way to transfer people between the islands, and offer upscale excursions to remote beaches and mountains.”
Korenke says Tahiti is experiencing good growth – which is little wonder given its almost mythological status: “Tahiti has a good brand image and a strong position in the world’s collective imagination,” he explains. “There are dozens of exotic untouched islands, well- preserved nature, beautiful people and beaches, and mana – the spirit of Tahiti in the air”.
Photo: Christopher Korenke, Senior VP Commercial and Marketing, Air Tahiti Nui and Jean-Marc Hastings, General Manager France & Europe, Air Tahiti Nui (l. to r.)