Flights to Tahiti Fiji Rarotonga

Air Tahiti NuiAir Tahiti Nui is currently offering a rountrip fare of US$518 between Los Angeles and Papeete. Taxes of around US$110 are additional. All tickets must be issued by November 2, 2006, for a November 2 departure from Los Angeles and a November 11 return from Tahiti. No changes are allowed. To book, call Air Tahiti Nui at 1-877/824-4846 from anywhere in Canada or the United States.

To Fiji, Air Pacific is offering a roundtrip from Los Angeles to Nadi for US$754. This ticket has to be purchased by December 8, 2006, and all travel must be complete by March 31, 2007. This one has to be booked in "M Class" and there are stiff fees to refund the ticket or change your reservation dates. Count on having around US$250 tax added to the price.

In other aviation news, Air New Zealand is considering dropping their longstanding Papeete-Rarotonga service. Beginning sometime after March 2007, all flights from the U.S. to the Cook Islands may be nonstop from Los Angeles to Rarotonga, bypassing Tahiti. It's still unknown if Air New Zealand will maintain their weekly Rarotonga-Fiji service in that event, but the airline clearly seems to be backing away from the "Coral Route" it has flown for over half a century. This is bad news for travelers.

Finally, Air Pacific's new subsidiary, Pacific Sun, is awaiting government approval to start commuter flights from Fiji to Port Vila, Tongatapu, and (maybe) Tuvalu. Air Pacific purchased Sun Air earlier this year and had hoped to launch a domestic service in competition with Air Fiji. That would be good for travelers as the competition might lower airfares, but Air Fiji has taken legal action to delay Pacific Sun's domestic launch. Hopefully all of this will be sorted out soon and getting to Savusavu and Taveuni will become cheaper and easier than it is now.

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