HONOLULU (Eagle News) – Hawaiian Airlines (HA) announced on Friday, June 18, the resumption of its service to Tahiti, following the launch of a pre-travel testing program between Hawaii and French Polynesia that allows for quarantine-free travel between the two archipelagos.
Beginning August 7, Hawaiian will reinstate once-weekly nonstop flights between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Tahiti’s Fa’a’ā International Airport (PPT).
Hawaiian Airlines has been the leading carrier for the Hawaii-Tahiti route since June 1987. However, it suspended flights in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The carrier’s resumption of flights was made possible by the new pre-travel testing program established by Hawaii Governor David Ige and French Polynesia President Édouard Fritch, as a result of low COVID-19 cases between the two destinations.
“We look forward to reconnecting our islands, but most importantly, reconnecting family members who have not seen each other for over a year,” said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines president and chief executive officer. “We appreciate the tremendous work by the governments of French Polynesia and Hawaii to open up travel between our regions.”
Both Hawaii and French Polynesia will implement strict travel requirements for resident and visitor safety. Those traveling inbound from PPT to HNL must complete and upload a negative test result from the Institut Louis Malardé, a state-approved testing partner, to Hawaii’s Safe Travels program.
Guests traveling outbound to PPT from HNL will need to provide proof of vaccination and have fulfilled the government of Tahiti’s COVID-19 entry requirements prior to travel. Those not compliant will be subject to a 10-day quarantine.
“Many of Hawaii’s residents have family in Tahiti, and welcoming our guests from French Polynesia to Hawaii is an important step in maintaining the close relationship between our two regions,” said Governor David Ige.
Hawaiian Airlines flight HA481 will depart HNL at 3:35pm on Saturday, August 7; and arrive at PPT at 9:30pm. Flight HA482 will depart PPT at 11:30pm that same evening and arrive at HNL at 5:15am the following day.
(Alfred Acenas, EBC Hawaii-Pacific Bureau, Eagle News Service)