Air Tahiti Nui's first Dreamliner has landed in Auckland marking a new phase for the airline.

The aircraft landed just before 1.30pm and is the first of four Dreamliners to enter its fleet coinciding with Air Tahiti Nui's 20th anniversary this year.

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

President of French Polynesia Eduard Fritch was on the inaugural flight and said he hoped the new plane would generate more traffic between New Zealand and Tahiti.


''But in order to do so the the Air Tahiti executive and commercial crew will have to do some hard work in order to seduce more passengers on to our flights.''

He said the airline had made the ''complicated'' decision to buy the US-built Boeing ahead of an aircraft from France-based Airbus.

''We have to fight to keep our customers so we have to have the best aircraft.''

The airline flies three times a week between Auckland and Pape'ete.

Air Tahiti Nui 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.

They are powered by General Electric engines, not those from Rolls-Royce whose earlier model Dreamliner power plants need more maintenance and repairs.

Each plane has 30 business class seats, 32 premium economy seats and 232 economy seats.


Air Tahiti Nui also 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.

More than a fifth of planes using Auckland Airport are now new generation highly efficient planes such as Dreamliners which began commercial service in 2011 and Airbus A350s that entered airline fleets in 2015.

Air Tahiti Nui's used to operate A340s on the service. It means the end of regular visits by A340s which have also been used in Auckland recent years by Cathay Pacific by Philippine Airlines.

The arrival of the Air Tahiti Nui Dreamliner is one of several changes over summer. Airlines including China Southern, United and Singapore Airlines have increased capacity.