LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 27, 2004--The Board of Directors of Air Tahiti Nui has appointed a new management team to lead the airline into its next phase of expansion, highlighted by the introduction of the first ever nonstop service from New York to Tahiti, with continuing service to Sydney, set to launch on July 6, 2005.
Three seasoned executives have been selected based on their complementary skills and proven track records in aviation and tourism:
Christian Vernaudon, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Vernaudon, who also is the Chairman and CEO of Air Tahiti, French Polynesia's domestic airline, is the coordinator for Tahiti Nui 2015 development strategy and is a former director of PATA.
Nelson Levy, Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Levy was one of the founding members of Air Tahiti Nui and led the company from 1998 until 2003 and served as General Manager for GIE Tahiti Toursime from 1992-1998. Mr. Levy was named Airline Manager of the Year in 2002 for the Asia Pacific Region by the U.S. travel trade magazine "Travel Agent."
Richard Hall, Advisor to the CEO. Mr. Hall has had over 24 years of experience in the airline and tourism sectors having been Air New Zealand's Regional Manager in Papeete.
These 3 executives have already begun working on the new routes from Papeete to New York and Sydney and are securing financing for Air Tahiti Nui's fifth Airbus A340-300 which will join the fleet in June of 2005.
The new team is widely known and respected throughout the Pacific Region and will report directly to the airline's new Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Leboucher, who also serves as Chief of Staff of French Polynesia's President Oscar Temaru. Mr. Leboucher is a former General Manager of Tahiti's Tourist Board and will act as the liaison between Air Tahiti Nui and the Government of French Polynesia which holds 61% of the airline's shares.
In addition to Mr. Leboucher, the Council of Ministers of French Polynesia appointed the following Board of Directors for Air Tahiti Nui: Jacqui Drollet, Vice President of the Government and Minister of Tourism; James Salmon, Minister of Land Transportation; Nicole Bouteau, Representative in the Assembly of French Polynesia and Marie-Laure Vanizette, Minister of Health.
Air Tahiti Nui currently operates 14 weekly flights between Los Angeles and Papeete, 6 weekly flights from Los Angeles to Paris, and 2 flights per week from Los Angeles to Auckland. The carrier also serves Tokyo and Osaka from its hub in Papeete. Using an all A340-300 three-class fleet, Air Tahiti Nui has been recognized for its service excellence in a number of airline passenger surveys.
For more information about Air Tahiti Nui's services and flight schedules, the public is invited to call the Reservations Center at (877) 824-4846 or visit the airline's web site at http://www.airtahitinui.com.
CONTACT: Air Tahiti Nui, Miami
Jeff Kriendler, 305/866-2115