French Polynesia’s overseas airline Air Tahiti Nui aims to improve this year’s performance. New chief executive Eric Pommier concedes that Air Tahiti Nui lost 2 billion French Pacific francs ($21 million) last year, but he claims it has a positive cash flow and faces no financial trouble.

After fuel costs, Pommier says the airline’s next biggest challenge is the poor performing New York route it launched last July. The carrier is negotiating to add a Paris-New York flight that could feed traffic through New York to Papeete.

This month Air Tahiti Nui also plans to improve Auckland-New York connections and add a fourth weekly Sydney-Papeete flight, its strongest route. With LAN Airlines, it has unveiled a joint fare designed to attract more traffic from South America. It is also studying whether to acquire a sixth long-range jet.

As it attracts more sixth-freedom passengers through its Papeete hub, the airline faces a quandary over how to balance its seat allocations between O&D and in-transit traffic. ■

Source: Airline Business