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Livery of the Week: Air Tahiti Nui

The airline's vibrant and striking livery adorns a fleet of four 787 Dreamliners.

An Air Tahiti Nui 787-9 at Paine Field (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Bailey)

Editor’s Note: AirlineGeeks is excited to launch our ‘Livery of the Week’ series. Every Friday, a team member will share an airline livery, which can be from the past, present, or even a special scheme. Some airline liveries are works of art. The complexity associated with painting around critical flight components and the added weight requires outside-the-box thinking from designers. The average airliner can cost upwards of $200,000 to repaint, creating a separate aircraft repainting industry as a result. 

Have an idea for a livery that we should highlight? Drop us a line

Air Tahiti Nui, the flag carrier of French Polynesia, boasts a livery as captivating as the destinations in which it serves. More than just paint on metal, it’s a canvas of cultural references and natural inspiration, whispering tales of the islands on every flight.

The livery’s dominant feature is a gradient of blues, mirroring the spectrum of the Tahitian seas. The deepest azure at the top transitions to softer turquoise, evoking the ocean’s depths and the sun-kissed lagoons. White, representing the sand and sunlit clouds, forms the lower half and engine cowlings.

An Air Tahiti Nui 787-9 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Flags and Flowers

Proudly displayed behind the flight deck is the flag of French Polynesia, with red and white stripes mirroring those that run along the fuselage. On the tail fin, the airline’s emblem, the tiare flower, blooms in white against the blue. This fragrant national symbol, often worn behind the ear, embodies purity and beauty.

On the airline’s Boeing 787-9s, the rear fuselage comes alive with intricate “tattoos” inspired by Marquesan navigation charts. These patterns represent constellations, ocean currents, and even the shapes of islands, whispering navigation secrets across the sky.

Each element holds deeper significance. The soaring albatross symbolizes resilience and overcoming challenges. The manta ray embodies grace and wisdom, guardians of the Polynesian seas. The waves around the tiare flower whisper of freedom and the interconnectedness of life.

Evolution of a Canvas

While the core elements remain, the livery has evolved. Launched in 2018, the 787-9 livery refined the previous design, adding complexity and depth to the “tattoos.”

Air Tahiti Nui’s livery is more than just a visual identity. It’s a tangible expression of Polynesian culture, whispering tales of ancient navigators, breathtaking landscapes, and the island spirit. The all-Dreamliner operator flies to a handful of destinations in the U.S., Oceania, Asia, and Europe.

Looking for a new airplane model? Head over to our friends at the Midwest Model Store for a wide selection of airlines and liveries.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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