Air Tahiti Nui's first Dreamliner has rolled out of Boeing's paintshop ahead of services to Auckland later this year, one of the first routes the plane will be used on.

The 787-9 has been named Fakarava after the picturesque atoll in French Polynesia's Tuamotu Islands, which boasts a lagoon with similar shades of blue to the aircraft's striking paint job.

The aircraft has been registered with the letters MUA, meaning 'moving forward' in Tahitian.

The airline says the design and colours are inspired by the beauty and richness of the Polynesian islands, the livery features Air Tahiti Nui's trademark tiare flower, a tattoo pattern representing a story of Tahiti and its people, and the blue hues that the islands are synonymous with.


Auckland to Papeete flights aboard the new plane start on November 8. The entry of the first of four Dreamliners coincides with Air Tahiti Nui's 20th anniversary this year.

The airline is phasing out its current Airbus A340-300 fleet. The twin engine Dreamliner is more efficient than four-engine A340 and the airlines estimates it will save close to 30,000 tonnes of fuel a year..

The French Polynesian flag carrier has bought two of the planes and two leased through the Air Lease Corporation.

Each plane will have 30 business class seats, 32 premium economy seats and 232 economy seats. The airline flies three times a week between Papeete and Auckland and has on sale premium economy fares for $1599 return.

"The B787-9 is an aircraft that will allow Air Tahiti Nui to economise more than 29,000 tonnes of fuel per year, reducing financial costs substantially and so improve its competitiveness,'' Boeing has said.

Air Tahiti Nui flies to Paris via Los Angeles. It says that with faster aircraft it aims to reduce travel times by around an hour and a half on a return flight to Paris.