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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: Air Tahiti ATR 72-500 Bora Bora to Papeete (Tahiti)

Intro


Following a terrific time in Bora Bora (a truly terrific time) that featured swimming with sharks and the Conrad Resort, we had to head back to Papeete to embark on the quest of catching a giant blue marlin. As I mentioned in the review of the outbound segment, we booked a return ticket for about 500$ RT per person during March 2023.


After this flight, I have come to the conclusion that Air Tahiti is adequate for the purpose that it serves. It is neither luxury nor the greatest airline on the planet, but with a half-empty plane, this flight was more than pleasant.


Route- Bora Bora-Papeete

Seat- 12B

Flight Number- VT482

Date- March 26th 2023

Flight Time: 43 Minutes

Price Paid- 500$ RT


Transport To Bora Bora Airport


As mentioned in the review of the Conrad, the resort provided us with free private transport to the airport on the morning of our departure.


Not a bad way to start a day

After about 15 minutes, we began to slow down due to our arrival at the airport. Similar to the town of Venice (not the same but you get the point😅), it is one of a kind of experience with transportation by boat everywhere in this colony.


Really do not want to leave

Boarding


Check-in is the breeziest encounter I have ever experienced. Once you enter the airport, there are two counters to check in (with no line) and a security checkpoint with 0 people.


Soon enough it was time to board this ATR that would take us over to Papeete today. There is enough space for two planes at the Bora Bora airport, needless to say, overcrowding isn't an issue.


Isn't she beautiful

The livery on the Air Tahiti ATR's are gorgeous!


Just a closer shot

We were one of the last to board and surprisingly, found the plane to be about half full! My mum decided to sit on the left side of the aircraft and I chose the right since I knew we would be departing East this morning (Avgeek coming out).


Getting ready for pushback

The Flight


With the flaps down for takeoff, we embarked on the journey to the end of the runway (back taxi). Seeing as the runway is quite short in Bora Bora, this didn't take too long.


Back taxi

A quick selfie before takeoff, because why not?


Before I lost all the weight

I snapped a quick picture of the cabin before takeoff. The seats are basic but MOST routes are under an hour so this isn't an issue.


Not sure about the red seat belts

After a short back taxi, the captain fired up the propellors and we motored off East. Don't be scared, but Air Tahiti's ATRs use most of the runway here😲.


If you look close you might see a FS boat

We zoomed past the main island of Bora Bora.


Look at that Coral!

As with the previous flight, the views were endlessly beautiful the whole way!


Views From Air Tahiti Bora Bora

The flight path today took us over some more islands and atolls. I sort of wish I had an expedition fishing boat to explore these waters!


More atolls

Can't make this up.


Turqoise

After about 10 minutes, we had reached cruising altitude for today's hop.


I think Bora Bora invented the color blue

15 minutes later, we began our descent into Papeete.


10 minutes later, Papeete came into view.


Patrolling these waters soon!

Arrival


Flaps were retracted for landing as we soon made a sweeping left turn.


Landing Air Tahiti

We landed right on time in Papeete. Here are a couple of photos of the final descent!





Once on the ground, we made our way off of the runway and taxied by a couple of Air Tahiti Nui 787s that were preparing for their next assignements.


Wish I had gotten to fly this airline, perhaps next time!

Hot take, but the Air Tahiti Nui 787 might be my favorite livery... in the world!


The colors!

Once on the ground, we deplaned and walked into the terminal. Bags were delivered within 10 minutes and waiting outside was the owner of the fishing charter.


A couple of minutes we were in the car heading to the marina to depart on a 3 day liveaboard.


Pristine tuna conditions

Tomorrow, I will have a full report on what it was like to go marlin fishing. But for now, I'll leave you with a picture of departing the harbor.



And a couple of 130's rigged up.


What a time to be alive

Final Thoughts


Minus the cost of the ticket (I can book business class for cheaper), I have nothing to complain about from Air Tahiti. Once again, it got me from point A to point B with some killer views. Sure, a snack service might have been pleasant, but they have no incentive to improve their service as they are the only airline to fly around the islands here.


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