French Polynesian carrier Air Tahiti Nui took delivery of its first Boeing 787-9, via lease from Air Lease Corp. This is the first Boeing airplane to join the Tahitian airline, which plans to use the longest-range Dreamliner to replace aging Airbus A340s and connect its home base in the South Pacific with destinations such as Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles.

Air Tahiti Nui configured its new Dreamliner to seat 294 passengers in three classes. The cabin features a new business class equipped with 30 full lie-flat seats, along with 32 premium economy seats.

The airline announced in 2015 it would lease two 787s through ALC and purchase two 787s directly from Boeing as part of its plan to upgrade its fleet for the future.

French Polynesia President Edouard Fritch and other government dignitaries joined the airline in celebrating the milestone delivery at Boeing's South Carolina Delivery Center.

ALC EVP Marc Baer said the capabilities of the 787 “will help enhance Air Tahiti Nui's commercial operations and will significantly increase the efficiency of its future fleet.”

Linda Blachly linda.blachly@informa.com