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Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:28 am

Folie1

INTRODUCTION

I’m finally on my last three legs. Today I fly from Papeete to Bora Bora, which is in fact the reason why I am taking this whole trip in the first place. Flight VT241 takes one hour and forty five minutes to make the journey to Bora Bora, although the actual flying time is only fifty minutes. The flight stops in Moorea and Huahine on its way to Bora Bora.

Flying around Tahiti is a lot like taking the bus and very often, the air service is the only and most reliable connection to the main island of Tahiti and the international airport in Papeete. Flying here is also refreshingly easy and certainly not as complicated as it has become in Europe.

CHECK-IN
Location:
ground floor, left side oft he building
Facilities: self-service check-in kiosks

I arrive at the airport just before 11:30. I am way too early for my flight, which does not leave until 13:15. I drop my bag at check-in and then head for security. The airside area is pretty small, just like the rest of the airport. But there is a small café and there are toilets. There are three departure gates.

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BOARDING
Boarding for the flight starts ten minutes before departure. It is free seating on this flight. I enter the cabin just behind a family with three small children. Originally my plan had been to grab a seat near the back, to get an unobstructed view along the journey. But the flight attendant has other plans. She needs an able bodied person at the emergency exit so she instructs me to take a seat on the first row. Initially I’m a bit reluctant, but there does seem to be more space on the bulkhead row.

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CABIN
The cabin is generally in good condition, with nice blue leather seats. The headrest covers all have different colours, which makes the cabin look nice and colourful.

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SERVICE
There are two females working the cabin on this flight. They seem very friendly and chatty.

THE MEAL
Food and drink are only available on the ‘long’ sector from Moorea to Huahine. It is buy on board and there are no warm drinks, which is a bit unfortunate really because it gets quite cold in the cabin once we are airborne. Eventually I order a tin of Pringles crisps for XFP300.

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Given that the runways are all relatively short, the take-offs and landings are rather ‘interesting’. But apart from that the flights are all rather uneventful, so I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

First Sector: Papeete to Moorea – flight time 10 minutes, turn around 10 minutes

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Second Sector: Moorea to Huahine – flight time 25 minutes, turn around time 15 minutes

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Third Sector: Huahine to Bora Bora – flight time 15 minutes

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ARRIVAL
Bora Bora airport is built on an outlying island of Bora Bora. Baggage delivery takes place outside, there are large metal racks onto which the suitcases are placed for you collect. From there, the transfer inevitably is by boat.

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ACCOMMODATION
In Bora Bora I’m staying at the Pearl Beach Resort, which is about 10 minutes by boat from the airport. A representative from the hotel is available on arrival at the airport to assist you to make the transfer to the hotel.

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VERDICT
I greatly enjoyed these three flights with Air Tahiti. It was fun to experience flying as it should be, pleasant and hassle free. It was also nice to get to see a bit of the islands from above; they really are quite beautiful.
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1865
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:13 am

What is amazing to me is that nothing has changed since 1986; in 28 years.

I took this flight in reverse with a Huahine stopover for a few hours which allowed us to have lunch at a Huahine resort.

The same ATRs.
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:39 am

Hi Lychemsa

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 1):
What is amazing to me is that nothing has changed since 1986; in 28 years.

That is rather strange and that's the impression you get even in PPT airport. Then again, the place is so remote and small, they're is hardly any room for major expansion.

Thanks for commenting.

Cheers,
William
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1865
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:01 pm

Yes but even the aircraft look the same. 26 years ago we also flew in ATRs.
 
theearlybird
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:43 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:01 pm

Wow - that´s really an exotic place to go! I´m really jealous you are able to visit these places. Tahiti looks absolutely fantastic and island hopping on smaller aircraft is always nice. Thank you very much for taking us with you on that trip!

Regards, Benjamin
 
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mercure1
Posts: 5138
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:13 am

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:05 pm

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 1):
The same ATRs.

Technically no. VT turns over its fleet at 10-12years. Oldest operating ATR today is from 2004.

Each year new frame arrives. Newest model arrived only 3 weeks ago.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
Then again, the place is so remote and small, they're is hardly any room for major expansion.

Why would you need expansion?
Traffic is static if not actually on downward trend
mercure f-wtcc
 
nicode
Posts: 282
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 7:58 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:36 pm

Wow, beautiful pictures !

Tahiti is a dream for a lot of french people...
 
User avatar
Vio
Posts: 1627
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:23 am

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:44 am

What a fantastic trip report! I love the South Pacific! I haven't been to French Polynesia yet, but I had the chance to spend two amazing weeks in the Cook Islands. I shall make my part (3 of 3) of that Trip Report. I wrote the first two, but I've been too busy / lazy to finish it up. You def. motivated me.  


Cheers!
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:19 pm

Hi Benjamin

Quoting theearlybird (Reply 4):
Wow - that´s really an exotic place to go! I´m really jealous you are able to visit these places. Tahiti looks absolutely fantastic and island hopping on smaller aircraft is always nice. Thank you very much for taking us with you on that trip!

Thanks, glad you enjoyed the report. For me the travelling and the trip reporting are a hobby. And it's nice to be able to share that.

Hi Mercure1

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 5):
Technically no. VT turns over its fleet at 10-12years. Oldest operating ATR today is from 2004.

That's interesting. I was wondering about that because VT really work those little ATRs. Also, I'm sure the salty sea air probably doesn't do the airframe much good either.

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 5):
Traffic is static if not actually on downward trend

That's probably what makes the charm of this place. It's so quiet and not at all crowded.

Hi nicode

Quoting nicode (Reply 6):
Wow, beautiful pictures !

Thanks!

Quoting nicode (Reply 6):
Tahiti is a dream for a lot of french people...

Not only for the French I'm guessing. This place is like heaven.

Hi Vio

Quoting vio (Reply 7):
What a fantastic trip report!

Thank you!

Quoting vio (Reply 7):
I had the chance to spend two amazing weeks in the Cook Islands. I shall

The Cook islands are a place I've yet to isit. But certainly on the to do list!

Quoting vio (Reply 7):
I wrote the first two, but I've been too busy / lazy to finish it up. You def. motivated me.

Thanks, I'm glad to hear that. So in that case I look forward to reading your report. So I'll know what to expect. Let me know when you've posted.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
Mortyman
Posts: 5929
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:26 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:43 am

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 5):
Newest model arrived only 3 weeks ago.

Was that their first ATR 72-600 Version ?
 
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sultanils
Posts: 1931
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:37 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:36 am

Wow William, that was very cool. If that flight didn’t get you in the holiday mood, there are no certainties in life any more. Lovely turquoise waters and pristine beaches, just great. I hope your stay in Bora Bora is a relaxing one.

Quote:
Flight VT241 takes one hour and forty five minutes to make the journey to Bora Bora, although the actual flying time is only fifty minutes. The flight stops in Moorea and Huahine on its way to Bora Bora.

How cool of a milk run!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
brilondon
Posts: 3164
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:56 am

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:18 am

That was a great report, nice to see people making the smaller flights to be just as enjoyable as on the larger airliners.
Rush forever Closer To My Heart
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:03 am

Hi Nils

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
Wow William, that was very cool. If that flight didn’t get you in the holiday mood, there are no certainties in life any more. Lovely turquoise waters and pristine beaches, just great. I hope your stay in Bora Bora is a relaxing one.

Relaxing doesn't begin to describe this place. My most difficult decision right now is: do I go canoeing, shall I go to the gym or just float around in the crystal clear water?

Hi brilondon

Quoting brilondon (Reply 11):
That was a great report, nice to see people making the smaller flights to be just as enjoyable as on the larger airliners.

Thanks, glad you enjoyed the report. For sure flying First and all that is fun, but there's a lot to be said for flying at low altitude in a little ATR that still sounds and feels like a real airplane and less like a computer with wings.

Thanks for commenting.

Cheers,
William
 
adamspotter
Posts: 1191
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:06 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:46 pm

Hi William,

Following your series I was wondering what your final destination would be. So Bora Bora it is, that must have been so nice and relaxing!
Looks like you had a bunch of enjoyable short hops up to BOB with some excellent views down below. The turquoise water and beautiful beaches look great  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The airside area is pretty small, just like the rest of the airport. But there is a small café and there are toilets. There are three departure gates.

That place must be filled to the brim when the long haul flights depart..

Thanks for sharing this very interesting report!

cheers,

Brendan
 
User avatar
CARST
Posts: 1571
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:00 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:09 pm

Hey great teport there! I love the photos, the colours and the Polynesian Islands.

A destination very high up on my to-go-list and in my plans for 2015. The milkrun on the ATRs looks good, too.


You mentioned food was BOB on Air Tahiti. Totally crazy, the last airline I had expected to act like a LCC, despite the news about them loosing Money each year. French Polynesia is one of the most exotic and most expensive Holiday destinations in the world and tickets to PPT and on the inter-Island flights are not cheap, either, so why act like a LCC? Probably just because they can and there is no real alternative available beside the ferries. Still crazy...



Carsten
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:40 am

Hi Brendan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 13):
Following your series I was wondering what your final destination would be.

Hm, I've been wondering that too. I thought if I went on a round the world, there would be no final destination and no journey home. You just keep going...

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 13):
So Bora Bora it is, that must have been so nice and relaxing!

And how! Internet reception was not good at all, which was great! I literally completely lost touch with the rest of the world.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 13):
Looks like you had a bunch of enjoyable short hops up to BOB with some excellent views down below. The turquoise water and beautiful beaches look great

Oh yes, that was really fun. It was also interesting to see the little ATR 72 being taken through its paces. It performed marvelously I thought!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 13):
That place must be filled to the brim when the long haul flights depart..

It was. Funnily enough, once the last flight leaves, the 'international' part of the terminal is actually closed down until the evening.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 13):
Thanks for sharing this very interesting report!

My pleasure.

Hi Carsten

Quoting CARST (Reply 14):
Hey great teport there! I love the photos, the colours and the Polynesian Islands.

Thank you.

Quoting CARST (Reply 14):
A destination very high up on my to-go-list and in my plans for 2015. The milkrun on the ATRs looks good, too.

I can highly recommend Tahiti, it really is amazingly beautiful. Quite out of this world. As for the milkrun, there are various flights a day between PPT and BOB and one of them usually does the multileg journey.

Quoting CARST (Reply 14):
You mentioned food was BOB on Air Tahiti. Totally crazy, the last airline I had expected to act like a LCC, despite the news about them loosing Money each year. French Polynesia is one of the most exotic and most expensive Holiday destinations in the world and tickets to PPT and on the inter-Island flights are not cheap, either, so why act like a LCC? Probably just because they can and there is no real alternative available beside the ferries. Still crazy...

I thought that was a bit strange too. But in a way I think they also want to discourage people to order stuff because the flights aren't really long enough for a proper service.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
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rogerbcn
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:45 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:07 am

Hola William!

Very different report from the previous ones but really nice to see a small plane on the milk run along the lovely Polynesian islands.

I have to admit that those are my favorite runs on planes, small ones flying not very high and with lots of stops along the route. When I lived in Panama I used to fly to San Blas islands in a really small plane (ca. 6 pax.) , sometimes sat next to the pilot and I really enjoyed it.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
they really are quite beautiful.

I have to disagree here, 'quite beautiful' is a lame description for such a gorgeous landscape  

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:22 pm

Hi Roger

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 16):
Very different report from the previous ones but really nice to see a small plane on the milk run along the lovely Polynesian islands.

Thanks, glad you liked the report.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 16):
I have to admit that those are my favorite runs on planes, small ones flying not very high and with lots of stops along the route. When I lived in Panama I used to fly to San Blas islands in a really small plane (ca. 6 pax.) , sometimes sat next to the pilot and I really enjoyed it.

I like these flights too. Although so far I've never managed to get to sit next to the pilot. But hey, who knows where my travels may yet lead me?

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 16):
I have to disagree here, 'quite beautiful' is a lame description for such a gorgeous landscape

I suppose you are quite right. The thing is that it's really difficult to put into words just how stunning the islands are.

Thanks for commenting.

Cheers,
William
 
yapple
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:33 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:37 am

Hi William,

I have always been interested in anything regarding the South Pacific, so was excited to see this report. Nice report as usual, and great scenery as expected in French Polynesia!

The cabin interior looks slightly duller when viewed from the rear (can't see those designs of the headrest) and it's a shame they don't provide complimentary drinks even on the 'longer' sector.

Thank you for these report(s).

yapple
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:21 am

Hi yapple

Quoting yapple (Reply 18):
I have always been interested in anything regarding the South Pacific, so was excited to see this report. Nice report as usual, and great scenery as expected in French Polynesia!

Thanks, Glad you enjoyed the report. If you get the chance, I can only recommend the South Pacific for a visit.

Quoting yapple (Reply 18):
The cabin interior looks slightly duller when viewed from the rear (can't see those designs of the headrest) and it's a shame they don't provide complimentary drinks even on the 'longer' sector.

I was thinking that too. Given that you enter the ATR 72 through the rear, it would make more sense to have the back of the seats coloured.

Quoting yapple (Reply 18):
Thank you for these report(s).

My pleasure. Thanks for commenting.

Cheers,
William
 
infodesk
Posts: 1462
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 11:06 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:41 am

Hi William,

Paradise! Those pictures from the air are just out of the this world. It's so beautiful it almost can't be real.

Hopping your way across to Bora Bora and seeing the other islands on the way must have been quite an experience.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The headrest covers all have different colours, which makes the cabin look nice and colourful.

Nice design too

Happy flying
Infodesk   
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
 
777fan
Posts: 2256
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:09 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:06 pm

Looks positively heavenly - thanks for sharing.

- 777fan
DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:00 pm

Hi Hannah

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
Paradise! Those pictures from the air are just out of the this world. It's so beautiful it almost can't be real.

Funnily enough that's what I kept thinking during the flight. When we landed I figured it probably wouldn't look so nice up close. But it does...

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
Hopping your way across to Bora Bora and seeing the other islands on the way must have been quite an experience.

It was like taking a bus but a lot more fun!

Hi 777fan

Quoting 777fan (Reply 21):
Looks positively heavenly - thanks for sharing.

My pleasure. Bora Bora truly is a heavenly place. I can't imagine anybody not liking it there.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
AirGAbon
Posts: 676
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 10:37 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:16 pm

Flights of Air Tahiti (different airline from Air Tahiti Nui) from PPT to Marquiseas Islands (Nuku Hiva) are around 3h30 of fligh ttime with these ATR72 (using ETOPS capability)!!
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Island Hopping Air Tahiti Style

Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:25 pm

Hi AirGabon

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 23):
Flights of Air Tahiti (different airline from Air Tahiti Nui) from PPT to Marquiseas Islands (Nuku Hiva) are around 3h30 of fligh ttime with these ATR72 (using ETOPS capability)!!

Thanks for the information. That sounds like an awfully long flight on such a small ATR72. I wonder what the service is like on that flight.

Cheers,
William

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