Practical tips

  • If you are flying to Tahiti from abroad, you will most likely land at one of its biggest international airportsits main international airportFaa'a International Airport PPT, located in the suburbs of the capital city Papeete, approximately 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the city center. It is French Polynesia's main airport, and it serves as a gateway to the other islands of the archipelago.

    The airport consists of two small, interconnected terminals: domestic and International. You will find there such amenities as free Wi-Fi (connect to the "Wi-Tahitiairport" network), currency exchange, tour operator and car rental offices, secure luggage storage, free showers (in the public restrooms in the main lounge), duty-free shops, souvenir boutiques, snack bars and restaurants, and a kids play area.

    Shuttle buses are available for cost-effective transfer to hotels in the capital city of Papeete. Public buses also run regularly from the stop outside the airport terminal. You can also get a ride with local taxis (fixed rates to popular tourist destinations) or rent a car through one of the international brands and local rental companies.

    These are also the best (and cheapest) airports to fly into Tahiti. As they are used by many airlines serving the same routes, the competition for passengers is fierce, and airfare decreases as a result.
Best airports to fly into Tahiti: Faa’a International Airport (PPT)
Tahiti has one international airport – Faa'a International Airport PPT, located in the capital city of Papeete on the island of Tahiti, in French Polynesia. The airport is located approximately 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the city center.
  • Once in Tahiti, take advantage of frequent intercity flights operated by domestic airlines such as Air Tahiti, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Moana, and Mana Otter. Those in-country carriers typically offer lower fares, operate from smaller airports located closer to city centers (you save on ground transportation) and provide flexible schedules – with a wide range of departure times.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near Tahiti can be easily reached with regional low-cost carriers (LCCs) by the likes of Air Tahiti, Aircalin, Air Raratonga, and French Bee. If you have a layover in Tahiti and plan to fly only a short distance to one of its neighboring countries, these budget airlines are an excellent way to save money.

Flights to Tahiti
from United States and Canada

  • There are no direct flights from the US or Canada to Tahiti. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to Tahiti, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop. Direct flights from US to Tahiti depart from the major airports on the West Coast – San Francisco SFO, Los Angeles LAX, Seattle SEA, and from Honolulu HNL on the Oahu island in the Central Pacific. Currently, only four airlines operate non-stop flights to Tahiti: Air Tahiti Nui, FrenchBee, United Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines.

    There are no direct flights from Canada to Tahiti.
  • Tahiti is well-served via one-stop flights from North America. Flights to Tahiti with one layover depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada.
  • The best airlines to fly to Tahiti from the US and Canada are: Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Air Tahiti Nui. They are top full-service carriers, offering exceptional customer service, in-flight comfort, a generous checked baggage allowance, and reliable customer support channels – all included in the ticket price.

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Flights to Tahiti from Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to Tahiti — you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in the Middle East or in Asia. There is only one direct route from Europe to Tahiti – with Air France from Paris CDG to Tahiti's capital city Papeete PPT. Flights from other European airports will have a layover in San Francisco SFO or Los Angeles LAX in the US.
  • Airlines that frequently fly from the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries to Tahiti include Air Caraibes, Air France, American Airlines, and Air Tahiti Nui.
  • Consider departure airports in neighboring countries to increase your chance of spotting the best deal. Especially look for large airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines. For example, if you live in Western Europe, check air tickets to Tahiti from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Leverage frequent promotions from European budget carriers like RyanAir, EasyJet, and Eurowings to reach a major hub; from there, take a cheaper long-haul flight to your final destination, potentially saving hundreds of euros.

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Things to know before flying to Tahiti
Airlines flying to TahitiAircalin, Air Caraïbes, Air France, Air New Zealand, Air Raratonga, Air Tahiti, Amelia International, Air Tahiti Nui, Delta Air Lines, French Bee, Hawaiian Airlines, LATAM, Qantas, United Airlines
Airlines based in French PolynesiaAir Tahiti, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Moana, Mana Otter
Airports in TahitiFaa'a International Airport (PPT) — Papeete, Tahiti
Regular price (roundtrip)✈ €1000 – €1400 (from Europe)
✈ $500 – $800 (from USA)

Low-cost flights from Tahiti

Stay ahead of the game. Fly to popular destinations at a fraction of the regular fare.

The cheapest time to fly to Tahiti

Tahiti is situated in the southern hemisphere near the equator and it experiences only two seasons: summer from November to April and winter from May to October. The temperature in Tahiti remains relatively constant year-round, so you’re likely to have warm and sunny weather – regardless of what time of year you travel to Tahiti.

The summer is the low season in Tahiti – November to April (excluding days around Christmas and New Year) is then the cheapest time to fly to the island. The weather is hotter and more humid than in winter, but you will be rewarded with the lowest airfares. Resorts in Tahiti also reduce their prices for the off-season.

The high tourist season in Tahit starts in May and lasts until the end of October. These are the busiest months when the weather is dryer, there is less humidity in the air, and water temperatures are cooler. Get ready for tourist crowds and sky-high prices for flights and hotels. If you plan to visit Tahiti during these months, it is essential to book well ahead (at least 9 months in advance).

Island hopping in French Polynesia

French Polynesia, located in the Pacific Ocean, covers an area as large as Western Europe and consists of 118 islands spread across 5 distinct island groups. Due to the considerable distance between islands, flying is the most efficient way of island hopping. The aerial views from the plane are sure to be some of the most stunning you’ll ever experience!

Tahiti and Bora Bora islands lie among the Society Islands group. The islands nearby are easiest to get to and provide more accommodation choices – so the other Society Islands such as Moorea, Raiatea, Tahaa, Maupiti, and Huahine are great choices for quick island hopping. The Tuamotu Archipelago, located further out, boasts scenic islands such as Tikehau, Fakarava, and Rangiro. The Marquesas, Gambier, and Austral island groups are even more remote, offering a more secluded experience for those seeking less tourist activity. You’ll likely have these untouched islands all to yourself.

Bora Bora and French Polynesia archipelagos: 5 island groups
A comparison of the five main island groups in French Polynesia (Society, Tuamotu, Marquesas, Gambier, and Austral Islands) to the map of Europe

Air Tahiti is the only inter-island carrier connecting the island groups in French Polynesia. Flights depart from Bora Bora Airport and Faa’a Airport in the capital of Papeete on Tahiti. 47 islands are accessible, with popular destinations having flights 3-5 times a week and less frequent service to more remote islands. Flight times range from 1 hour to 3 hours, with the shortest flights serving the Tuamotu Atolls and the longest reaching the Marquesas Islands.

Get Multi-Island Pass to save on flights

Air Tahiti offers Multi-Island Passes for travelers who wish to explore multiple islands within the same archipelago, offering special, discounted fares.

For example, Bora Bora Pass allows flying to the islands of Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Maupiti and costs €434.90/€469.30 (low season/high season).

All Passes cover routes that start and finish in Tahiti and are valid for 28 days.

Next tips

Know your time zone

When checking flights and airport transfer times, ensure you know the local time zones. The departure/arrival times on your plane ticket and boarding pass are based on the time zone of the departure/arrival airport – this also applies to the connecting (layover) airports.

French Polynesia spans across the Pacific Ocean and includes multiple islands, each with its own unique geography and longitude. To accommodate this, this French overseas territory uses three separate time zones to reflect the local time on each island accurately: Tahiti Time Zone (UTC-10), Marquesas Islands Time Zone (UTC-9:30) and Gambier Islands Time Zone (UTC-9). These time zones do not have an associated daylight saving time.

Tahiti observes Tahiti Time Zone (UTC-10) all year. As a result, clocks in Tahiti are 21 hours behind Sydney, 10 hours behind London and 5 hours behind New York.

When you board the plane, adjust your watch to the local time of the destination – subconsciously orienting yourself to the new time will help you to reduce the jetlag a bit.

Exploring Tahiti and Pacific Islands

The Pacific Islands can be divided into three main groups based on physical geography and cultural significance:

  • Polynesia (“many islands”): This large triangular area of the east-central Pacific Ocean includes Tahiti and French Polynesia, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Easter Island, Hawaiian Islands, Line Islands, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna.
  • Micronesia (“small islands”). Located north of Papua New Guinea. It includes the Federated States of Micronesia (the Caroline Islands), Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau.
  • Melanesia (“black islands”). Anchored north of Australia and bordering Indonesia to the east, this region includes Fiji, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

Tahiti, Hawaii, Fiji, and Easter Island are the most well-connected Pacific Islands and act as hubs when flying from the USA, Australasia, and Asia (especially Korea, Taiwan, and Japan). The poorly connected island countries like Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, or Tuvalu are best visited via these main hubs.

Pacific islands flights: countries
The Pacific islands region splits into Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Tahiti island is part of a small archipelago of the Society Islands located in the center of Polynesia.

Keep in mind that traveling throughout the region can be costly, with Tahiti being one of the most expensive destinations. Once you get there, costs can quickly add up to well above that in your home country, especially if you require comforts and imported products. The large tourist numbers and inflated costs of shipping goods the Tahiti island mean that the prices are almost uniformly high.

Long waiting times when calling the helpline?

Social media is usually a faster way to reach the airline when a problem arises. Use Twitter or Facebook Messenger to contact the airline customer service and get a response and solution within minutes (see detailed guides for Air New Zealand, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, and others).

When it comes to Twitter there’s one more trick to get in touch with the airline faster: mention the airline in a tweet about your issue (add “@airline_handle”, for example: “@AirTahitiNuiUS” if contacting Air Tahiti Nui). The social media team will often notice it immediately, ask you for a direct message, and respond privately.

Next tips

Domestic flights from Tahiti

Most domestic routes in French Polynesia are operated by local carriers. When traveling to popular tourist destinations such as Bora Bora, Moorea, Fakarava, Huahine, Raiatea, Maupiti from Tahiti Airport, you’ll likely fly with one of these domestic airlines: Air Tahiti, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Moana, and Mana Otter.

This is often the best transportation method, providing speed, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. Local airlines often offer multiple daily flights to key destinations, providing flexibility in scheduling and competitive pricing. They also serve smaller regional airports, enabling access to a wider range of French Polynesia destinations.

Flights to Tahiti
from Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia and New Zealand are well-connected with popular Asian destinations, including Tahiti. In addition to domestic airlines – Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand – routes from Australasia to Asia are operated by large international carriers such as ANA, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.

    Currently, there are no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand to Tahiti. You’ll need a layover in one of the major hubs in Asia.
    There are no direct flights from Australia to Tahiti. Travelers in New Zealand can fly direct to Tahiti from Auckland AKL with Air New Zealand and Qantas.
  • Airfare costs can vary widely depending on the route and the airline’s pricing strategy. To find the cheapest flight to Tahiti, compare ticket prices from various international airports in Australia – Sydney SYD, Brisbane BNE, Melbourne MEL, Perth PER, Adelaide ADL, Cairns CNS, Gold Coast OOL, Canberra CBR, and in New Zealand – Auckland AKL, Wellington WLG, Christchurch CHC, Queenstown ZQN, and Dunedin DUD.
  • For optimal savings, consider flying from Australia or New Zealand to a key Asian hub, then connect to Tahiti via a regional low-cost carrier. Among budget airlines that fly to Tahiti are Air Tahiti, Aircalin, Air Raratonga, and French Bee.

    For the first leg, use the budget carriers that fly out of Australian airports, leveraging sales and promotions they run frequently: AirAsia (connects with Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore), Cebu Pacific (Manila), Jetstar (Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo), Scoot (Singapore), VietJet Air (Ho Chi Minh City), Bamboo Airways (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing), and Batik Air (Jakarta, Singapore).

40–80% off flights to Tahiti
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Flights to Tahiti
from major hubs in Asia

  • Among big Asian hubs, only Tokyo NRT has a direct connection with Tahiti. However, numerous non-stop flights depart from airports located in small countries scattered across Pacific.
  • Asia is probably the best continent for short-haul and mid-haul flying. The sheer scale of this most populous region on Earth is reflected in the type of aircraft operating many shorter routes: intra-Asia flyers benefit from comfortable, wide-bodied aircraft by the likes of Boeing 777, 787 or Airbus A350, A330, and A380. When booking your flight to Tahiti look for these bigger planes as they will almost always give you the best experience in every cabin, including better seat pitches, higher ceilings, and larger overhead bin space.
  • Asia is also home to most of the world’s best airlines. There are only ten airlines that received the prestigious 5-star mark of quality from Skytrax, and all of them are from Asia: ANA, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines. Choosing one of these airlines for your trip to Tahiti will guarantee a pleasant journey – delicious meals served during the flight, great in-flight entertainment, and above-average airline customer service.
  • Asia is extremely well served by low-cost regional airlines. If you are visiting French Polynesia and want to see several other countries on a tight budget, they often have great sales with rock-bottom prices, while still offering a relatively comfortable flight experience. Among the best Asian budget airlines you can book without hesitation are AirAsiaCebu Pacific, Citilink, FlyDubai, Indigo, Jetstar Airways, Scoot, SpiceJet, and VietJet Air. The cons? Being no-frills airlines they may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight meals, or onboard entertainment. The departure times may also be quite inconvenient as they try to save money by flying at off-peak hours.

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Flights to Tahiti dataset