Pictures taken with Canon EOS 700D 18-200mn lense. Some pictures (cabin) were taken with iPhone 6 plus.
Following a very smooth and enjoyable accross the Tasman Sea between Sydney and Auckland, I am in transit in the City of Sails. I know Auckland Airport very well. It is a nice place for plane spotters. The green waters of the adjacent bay provides a dramatic background to some exotic liveries, including the various Air New Zealand fleet pain jobs. Once I go through the security in the transfer area, I end up in the terminal departure hall. AKL is a small and friendly airport by world standards. The large glass areas make it easy to have a superb view on the apron, tarmac and runway.
I need to collect my boarding pass from the transfer desk. A very friendly French National Air New Zealand staff gives me my boarding pass. He usually looks after Air Tahiti Nui flights (3 frequencies a week between PPT and AKL.
This is what is shown on the monitor of the transfer desk. Great to see all the registrations listed.
Funny enough the flight indicates Los Angeles as our destination. In fact my plane will continue on to LAX. Do note also the multilingual flight board and the little advise to passengers…. Only in New Zealand….
My aircraft today is A340-313X F-OSEA, one of Air Tahiti Nui 5 A340. I have already flown on that aircraft. She is name after one of the many Island of French Polynesia Rangiroa The other A340 are F-OSUN Moorea, F-OLOV Nuku Hiva, F-OJTN Bora Bora and F-OJGF Mangareva. It is my lucky day. F-OSEA is one of the 3 aircraft retrofitted with the new business class. The two other are F-SUN and F-OJGF Interestingly, I have flown only 4 of the 5 A340. I have never managed to fly on F-OJGF Mangareva….
See the first officer arm outside of the cockpit window…just like driving a car…:-)
Air Tahiti Nui has a very beautiful and appealing livery. The airline updated its branding/image last year, but that was a very subtle change. The color scheme was not update. Only the logo and the Tiare flower appear to have changed and are featured on the Air Tahiti Nui website.
A close up of the Tiare flower on the tail. Air Tahiti has a very small network, yet only made of long haul flights. Destinations served are Auckland, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Paris. New York and Sydney were discontinueda few years ago.
I have time to do plane spotting…..
One of the NZ B787….
The 767 with winglets looks sensational !
Vietnam Airlines 777
My inbound aircraft LAN A340-300. Note one of 3 Emirates A380 in AKL every day.
A nice painting. The Koru….and The City of Auckland with the distinctive SkyTower and The Harbour Bridge
And a welcome sign
Walking through the new apron, which has been built to accommodate the A380
Dubai ? No, Auckland in the afternoon, when the Emirates A380s get ready to fly back to DXB via Australia (SYD, MEL and BNE). Today there is no less than 3 Emirates A380 at AKL Airport, all docked at gates. See two here:
The 3rd one is parked here, just next to our gate
Another view of Rangiroa, and a Virgin Australia 737-800
Time to board. Last shots before boarding:
Greetings from the crew. Note the very enticing poster on the galley wall
The business class seat
The cabin with configuration 2 x 2 x 2
My seat is in the first row. The space is lavish….look at the monitor size…nearly twice as large as the ones in the other rows…
Amenities bag….a cute little box
Time to go. Take off to the West then 160 degre turn towards New Zealand East Coast. View South of the Airport
The North-South Freeway, one of the few stretch of freeway in NZ…
Leaving the East Coast via Coromandel Peninsula
Flight time is just under 5hours
In flight. The blanket is well presented, in a little bag.
The menu and beverage list
Very unsual of me to drink alchohol on board an aircraft. But I just can't say no to French bubbles. Note the Tiare flower on the glass and everywhere really…
The little cone shaped appetizer is just divine…
Dinner is served
Let's watch a French movie…sadly only one is shown…but it features one of my favorite actor Fabrice Luchini…
I have two monitors as the seat next to me is vacant. It is pretty decadent to be able to watch the movie and the airshow at the same time…
The airshow map is full of exotic names….actually 4 of the 5 A340 names are shown here….Only Moorea missing
Traditional Polynesian welcome
Bonus: The Intercontinental Beachcomber Tahiti Airport
And my all time favorite Salade Tahitienne (raw tuna marinated in cocount milk) specially ordered (as room service is closed by the time I get to the hotel) is waiting for me…
Air Tahiti Nui
Auckland - AKL
Papeete - PPT
Air Tahiti is a boutique airline. The service is friendly, the food is very tasty and the new business class product is very enjoyable. The cabin is spacious and well decorated. The seat pitch is generous and add to that great sense of space. Regretfully the seat does not turn into a flat bed. Which is ok with me for a 5 hours flight, but might prove uncomfortable for longer flight. Was disappointed by the lack of French movies in the movie selection...one would think a French carrier would feature more than just one French movie! However the large choice of documentaries about French Polynesia makes up for it. Don't miss the few pieces directed by Antoine. Finally no snack were served between dinner and landing. I was feeling peckish and would have really enjoyed a little snack...thanks God my Salade Tahitienne was waiting for me.
Overall a truly enjoyable experience. Looking forward to flying the 787 next time I am off to Tahiti !
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