Air Tahiti Nui and French bee both fly between Papeete,Tahiti, in French Polynesia (an overseas collectivity of France), and Paris. These domestic flights have been operating via the United States, with Air Tahiti Nui using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner via Los Angeles to Charles de Gaulle and French bee using an Airbus A350-900 XWB via San Francisco to Orly.
New U.S. restrictions on European passengers mean even transit passengers must clear U.S. screening through at least mid-April. To avoid this hassle, French bee has changed their stopover to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe. Both segments are domestic since Guadeloupe is an overseas department of France.
Air Tahiti Nui took a different approach, operating Sunday's flight non-stop. This flight added nothing to the total distance (going by great circle distances); it appears to be the longest non-stop commercial operation and certainly the longest flight operated under domestic rules. The actual flight path was a bit farther south, entering U.S. airspace near El Paso, likely to follow lower-latitude tailwinds across the Atlantic. Going forward, the flights are planned to use Vancouver as a transit point.
Today's Featured Map shows these five routings. Air Tahiti Nui is in light blue; there are three routes there but since the great circle route of the non-stop passes almost directly over LAX it's difficult to distinguish the non-stop from the former routing via LAX. French bee's routes are in darker blue.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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