After travelling from Los Angeles to Papeete aboard Air Tahiti Nui business class, we proceeded to the next leg of our trip from Papeete to Bora Bora with Air Tahiti.
By virtue of being the primary domestic carrier in French Polynesia, Air Tahiti represents one of the one of the only options for reaching Bora Bora via plane. Note that Air Tahiti is an entirely separate airline from Air Tahiti Nui, the primary international carrier of the French overseas collectivity, and operates an all-economy fleet of ATR-72 aircraft.
Air Tahiti – Booking
We booked our tickets for the intra-island flights directly on the Air Tahiti website. Given the remoteness of the territory, flight prices tend to be quite high, and you can generally expect prices to start at around 20,000 XPF ($180 USD) one-way for the one-hour journey between Papeete and Bora Bora.
It’s worth noting that smaller startup airlines like Air Moorea and charter airlines like Tahiti Air Charter also ply their services on this route, though on much less frequent schedules.
Additionally, there’s also a ferry service known as Apetahi Express that operates from Papeete’s main harbour to Bora Bora, which takes approximately eight hours, so taking a flight with Air Tahiti is the most time-efficient option.
Air Tahiti – Ground Experience
Faa’a International Airport is the primary international airport in French Polynesia, operating both international flights and domestic flights that connect to other destinations within French Polynesia.
Air Tahiti operates out of a separate domestic section at Papeete Airport, which is separate from the international section you arrive in.
The domestic terminal is rather simplistic, consisting of a single security checkpoint. Once you arrive and clear immigration, walk to your right to find the domestic check-in counters.
Since the ATR-72 has tiny overhead bins, any belongings aside from personal items needed to be checked in, so we had to check-in our carry-on bags.
After completing the check-in process, we waited in the domestic departures terminal for about an hour and a half. Despite the sweltering heat, the bathrooms within the terminal provided some form of relief with air conditioning.
What’s more, there are just a few dining and seating areas to choose from, and once you pass the security checkpoint, there’s only one café available.
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