Air Tahiti Nui took delivery of its fifth Airbus A340-300, christened “Nuku Hiva” after a French Polynesian island, during a ceremony held at the Le Bourget airshow. The aircraft was handed over to Air Tahiti Nui Chairman Patrick Leboucher by Airbus Vice President Guy Brunon.

Air Tahiti Nui will use its new aircraft, which is its first Airbus A340-300 Enhanced, to inaugurate non-stop services from Papeete to New York in early July, supporting the expansion of Tahiti’s growing tourism industry.

Air Tahiti Nui began operations in 1998, with the Airbus A340, and has developed an extensive network across the Pacific ocean, with services from Papeete to Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand and the United States.

Air Tahiti Nui’s A340-300E seats 294 passengers in a first, business and economy layout. It is powered by an enhanced version of CFM International’s CFM56-5C engines, which features better fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance costs

The A340-300 Enhanced benefits from the latest A340-500/-600 innovations, including a new standard of spaciousness and comfort. Its cockpit integrates the latest technologies, such as liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and new navigation systems, building on the technology created for other Airbus aircraft, such as the A340-500 and -600.

The Airbus A340 features the quietest cabin in the sky, making it popular with passengers, and the best economy in its class, which makes it an airline favourite.

Like all four-engined aircraft, the A340-300E is free from extended range twin-engine operations (ETOPS) constraints. This helps airlines such as Air Tahiti Nui to fly the shortest and most direct routings.

To date more than 650 A330/A340/A350 family aircraft are in operation, and the family has more than 80 customers and operators to its credit.

Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.