Air Tahiti Nui Reports its First Yearly Profit
For its financial year 2003, Air Tahiti Nui has reported its first annual profit of $3.8 million, versus a loss of $700,000 in 2002.
Air Tahiti Nui continued its rapid growth in 2003 with the addition of two new Airbus A340-300’s, bringing the fleet total to four aircraft. An A340-200 which was leased at the company’s commencement in November,1998, was returned to the lease company in March 2003.
With the fleet expansion, capacity in 2003 increased by 69 percent over 2002. The routes that benefited from the extra capacity were:
Papeete/Auckland: Capacity increased 107 percent with an additional frequency in March and a third frequency added in October 2003.
Papeete/Paris: Capacity increased 147 percent with five weekly frequencies year round and six weekly frequencies during peak summer.
Papeete/Los Angeles: Capacity increased 50 percent with the addition of two frequencies.
The company maintained its three weekly flights to Japan but cancelled selected services during the first six months of the year, as a direct result of SARS and the Iraq War. The result was reduction in capacity of one percent.
The number of revenue passengers carried by Air Tahiti Nui increased in line with the fleet additions, from 113,000 in 2001 to 235,000 in 2002 and 397,000 passengers in 2003. Passengers measured in revenue passengers kilometers (RPKs) increased by 66 percent from 2002 to 2003.
Total system revenue increased from $67 million in 2001, to $128.7 million in 2002, and to $196 million in 2003.
In order to support the growth, the number of employees increased from 212 in 2002, to 593 in 2003. The bulk of the increase covered pilots and cabin staff, which represents 60 percent of total employees.
In the first six months of 2004, Air Tahiti Nui continued its strong growth, carrying 214,000 revenue passengers. This represents a 34 percent increase in revenue passengers from the same period in 2003. Capacity increased by 29 percent during the first six months of 2004 compared to the same period in 2003.
Air Tahiti Nui has recorded a positive cash flow position since 2002, and no longer receives a subsidy from the Government of French Polynesia.