By JAMES WILKINSON
Hotels across French Polynesia are set to benefit from a new codeshare agreement with the nation’s flag carrier Air Tahiti Nui and American Airlines that’s expected to bring thousands more United States travellers to the South Pacific each year.
The United States Department of Transportation this approved the bilateral codeshare agreement, one that will see American place its code on Air Tahiti Nui flights between Los Angeles (LAX) and Papeete (PPT) and at the same time will see Air Tahiti Nui place its code on American flights to over 15 cities in the United States, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Miami, New York and Washington D.C.
Hilton Worldwide’s Vice President of Operations for Australasia, Ashley Spencer, said the codeshare deal would have a positive impact on the company’s properties in French Polynesia.
“Hilton Worldwide welcomes the news that Air Tahiti Nui flights will now be available via code-share with American Airlines,” he told HM.
“The North American market is very important to our properties in French Polynesia – Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa, and Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa – and we wholeheartedly support any initiative that will make this destination more accessible to a broader market.”
American’s Vice President – Strategic Alliances, Kurt Stache, said the agreement “will provide our customers a variety of options and seamless access when traveling throughout our combined networks”.
“We are excited to launch this new codeshare relationship with Air Tahiti Nui to provide our customers more options when traveling to the South Pacific and French Polynesia,” he said.
Air Tahiti Nui’s Chairman and CEO, Etienne Howan, said there were significant benefits for French Polynesia on the back of the American Airlines deal.
“This new codeshare partnership with one of the largest airline’s in the world will considerably improve the visibility of Tahiti in North America,” Howan said.
“It will also make it easier for tourists to discover our beautiful and romantic islands of Tahiti, Moorea or Bora Bora, only eight hours from Los Angeles. Tahitian passengers will also benefit from fast and easy connections across the United States.”