Hawaiian Airlines plans to resume Tahiti service on Aug. 7 following the launch of a pre-travel testing program between Hawaii and French Polynesia that allows for quarantine-free travel within the two destinations.
The state’s largest carrier, which suspended flights to the Tahitian capital, Papeete, in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Friday it will reinstate weekly nonstop service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and Tahiti’s Fa’a’a International Airport using a 278-seat Airbus A330 aircraft.
Hawaiian has been serving Tahiti since June 1987.
The carrier said it is able to resume flights because of the new pre-travel testing program established by Gov. David Ige and French Polynesia President Edouard Fritch that was prompted by low results of COVID-19 cases between the two locales.
“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, president and CEO at Hawaiian Airlines. “We appreciate the tremendous work by the governments of French Polynesia and Hawaiʻi to open up travel between our regions.”
Both Hawaii and French Polynesia will implement strict travel requirements. Those traveling inbound from Tahiti to Honolulu must complete and upload a negative test result from the Institut Louis Malarde, a state-approved testing partner, to Hawaii’s Safe Travels program. The test must be taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to departure.
Passengers traveling outbound to Tahiti from Honolulu 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. Entry information is available at bit.ly/3zBSXUi.
“Many of Hawaiʻi’s residents have family in Tahiti, and welcoming our guests from French Polynesia to Hawaiʻi is an important step in maintaining the close relationship between our two regions,” Ige said in a statement.
Hawaiian Airlines flight HA481 will depart Honolulu at 3:35 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7, and arrive in Tahiti at 9:30 p.m. Flight HA482 will depart Tahiti at 11:30 p.m. the same evening and arrive into Honolulu at 5:15 a.m. the following day.
“I consider that the resumption of air service with the Hawaiian Islands as of August 7, is the recognition by your State of the collective efforts made both by the country’s authorities, by our health personnel but also by our population slowdown of the circulation of COVID-19 in our territory,” Fritch said.