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An Air Tahiti Nui 787-9 at the Paris Airshow (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

French bee, Air Tahiti Nui Avoiding U.S. Stopovers, Fly Paris to Tahiti Nonstop

The Coronavirus outbreak has been wreaking havoc on the aviation industry around the globe. This has been exasperated by the U.S. government’s decision to ban non-citizens from entering the United States if they have travelled to several European countries in the past 14 days.

The decision has been particularly hard for airlines that utilize the U.S. as a stopover on long-haul flights. Two airlines, French bee and Air Tahiti Nui, are changing their operations to prevent disruptions to travellers.  

Both airlines operate flights between Paris and Papeete in Tahiti. French bee operates the flight with a stopover in San Francisco and Air Tahiti Nui utilizes Los Angeles for fuel and for passengers. With the new rules coming into effect both airlines will be changing their stopover location to outside the U.S. French bee will be offering flights from Paris to Papeete with a stopover in Guadeloupe, making the flight a domestic flight, as both French Polynesia, and Guadeloupe are French territories. 

Air Tahiti Nui is following similar footsteps as French bee. On Sunday March 15, travellers for Los Angeles will board the regularly scheduled flight, however travellers for Papeete will board a later flight that will go non-stop to Paris, according to RoutesOnline.

This flight, although a one-off, is 260 miles longer than the current longest flight in the world between Singapore and Newark. The flight is scheduled to take 16 hours and 30 minutes and operated with the Boeing 787.

Following the completion of the flight, Air Tahiti Nui will operate one Paris flight with a stopover in Vancouver, before switching to Guadeloupe as a stopover point. The airline will still operate flights between Papeete and Los Angeles, with Vancouver and Guadeloupe acting as a stopover point for the flight between Paris and Papeete.

The changes are in effect through March 19 for Air Tahiti Nui and through March 20 for French bee, however with the ban in place for 30 days, schedules are likely to be extended. Flights between French Polynesia and France are vital for the French territory and are likely to continue as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. 

Daniel Morley
Daniel Morley
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