In a major setback for travel to the South Pacific, Air Tahiti Nui has announced it will suspend direct flights between Sydney and Papeete from April to October 2009.
Air Tahiti Nui will suspend Sydney flights from April
“This decision has been made as a result of the ongoing global economic crisis,” said Air Tahiti Nui regional director – Australia, Craig Lee.
In place of the direct non-stop flights, Air Tahiti Nui will offer three weekly flights from Sydney via Auckland, with trans-Tasman sectors operated by code share partner Qantas and Auckland-Papeete services operated by Air Tahiti Nui.
Lee said travel to Tahiti had been strong from Australia, “but the global financial crisis meant the airline had to consider new ways of achieving significant cost reductions while continuing to offer services throughout the network”.
“This reduction in flights is part of a broader programme to cut costs worldwide during the northern summer schedule period, while continuing to offer passengers the ability to fly with us to Tahiti,” he said.
“Offering services via Auckland enables us to continue providing service to the Australian market. We will review this arrangement when economic conditions allow.”
Until February, Air Tahiti Nui will continue to offer four weekly services from Australia – two non-stop Sydney-Papeete flights and two code share services via Auckland. From February 7, 2009, the schedule from Sydney will change to one non-stop service and two code-share flights via New Zealand, with scheduled Sydney-Papeete flights suspended after the March 28 departure.
“We regret any inconvenience this will cause to passengers from Australia and we will rebook those affected by this change on our code share flights via Auckland,” Lee said.
He said Air Tahiti Nui would continue to operate its Sydney sales office.
For bookings, contact Air Tahiti Nui on 1300 732 415 or click here.