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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

There are few air­lines that cap­ture the flavour of their home des­ti­na­tion as ef­fec­tively as Air Tahiti Nui. An­nounce­ments are in French, English and Tahi­tian Poly­ne­sian and pas­sen­gers in Po­er­ava busi­ness class can ex­pect a sweet tiare flower when step­ping aboard, to pop be­hind the ear. Cush­ions are pat­terned with palm leaves, flight at­ten­dants change to flo­ral out­fits for meal ser­vice, is­land mu­sic plays softly and the look of both busi­ness and Moana (econ­omy) cab­ins is in­spired by beach and botan­i­cal colours and the sil­ver-grey of Tahiti’s fa­mous pearls. The re­vamped busi­ness class has 32 seats across a two-two-two con­fig­u­ra­tion, large seat­back TV screens, in­tu­itive con­trols and an al­most lie-flat re­cline. Cham­pagne sets the tone for de­par­ture or per­haps a Tahi­tian punch. Ser­vices be­tween Auck­land and Papeete take about five hours and mesh with trans-Tas­man con­nec­tions. Break­fast in­cludes fresh pas­tries that could have been air­lifted from Paris. Is it too early for, say, a Louis Jadot 2015 ch­ablis or, quelle sur­prise, Vin de Tahiti 2015 blanc moelleux from the Tuamotu ar­chi­pel­ago? More: air­tahit­inui.com.

SU­SAN KUROSAWA

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