Via a Tahiti Nui Television article, the French Polynesia Tourism Minister claims that Air Tahiti Nui may be joining the oneworld alliance in 2015. The article is in French, but here’s the relevant section (translated using Google Translate):
In addition, to enhance service, ATN “is poised to enter the One World Alliance” which “would make us go from 6 to 7 code shares currently more than a hundred,” said Jean-Christophe Bouissou, who hopes that this will happen “this year.”
I wouldn’t necessarily take this as fact given that over the years there have been dozens of airlines “in the process” of joining an alliance, and it never panned out.
But this would be a natural fit. Air Tahiti Nui already partners with American AAdvantage, so it’s possible to redeem American miles for travel on Air Tahiti Nui. Interestingly it’s not actually possible to earn AAdvantage miles for travel on Air Tahiti Nui, though.
Having Air Tahiti Nui join oneworld would have several implications:
- You could earn AAdvantage miles for travel on Air Tahiti Nui
- If flying economy as a oneworld elite member, you’d receive perks like lounge access, priority check-in and boarding, etc.
- It would be possible to redeem miles from all oneworld airlines for travel on Air Tahiti Nui, which would present some amazing values — for example, Japan Airlines has a distance based award chart, and would charge 65,000 miles for roundtrip business class between Los Angeles and Tahiti
That being said, I can also see Air Tahiti Nui’s hesitation to join an alliance. Joining an alliance costs money, and they have a captive audience for the most part, given the limited competition to/from Tahiti. Why give flyers more rewards when they’re probably not generating much incremental business from them?
Of course I’m really hoping that they do join!`
For help on redeeming miles to Tahiti, see my post on the topic — How To Use Miles On Flights To Tahiti.
What do you think? Do you hope Air Tahiti Nui joins the oneworld alliance?
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)