Located five kilometres southwest from the town centre of Papeete, Fa'a'ā International Airport makes a relatively convenient gateway to the South Pacific. It resides at an elevation of five feet above mean sea level due to the island terrain and its proximity with the coastline. Its runway stretches up to 11,220 feet, which allows the airport to handle more or less around a million passengers every year.
Air Tahiti Nui currently handles the bulk of travellers going to the airport, with Air France coming as a far second. They fly to different islands in French Polynesia with international flights to a number of cities such as Auckland, Tokyo, Paris, and Los Angeles, to name a few. It is a somewhat small airport with flights going every day to all the other islands and international destinations.
A medium-sized town with a lively port and old architecture, Papeete makes a pleasant yet chaotic place to check out upon arrival from Fa'a'ā International Airport. From the airport, tourists can refresh themselves with a visit to a Parisian-style cafe or shop at the market where various types of goods can be found from fruits and vegetables to pearls and sarongs.
There are five terminals within the main building of the airport. Terminal 2 is the busiest, as it has concessionaire shops and cafes. A lounge can also be found here, as well as fast food outlets. There are conveyor belts transporting luggage with metal chairs and wooden benches throughout the airport for travellers.
Airlines plying the routes to this port of entry include Air France, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti, Air Tahiti Nui, Aircalin, Hawaiian Airlines, and LAN Airlines. They transport passengers to a number of destinations across the Pacific region and other relatively nearby areas.
Services and Facilities
Fa'a'ā International Airport offers baggage services which opens 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and then 1:30 pm to 10:00 pm on Mondays to Wednesdays, 1:30 pm to 11:00 pm on Thursdays, as well as 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm from Fridays to Sundays. They are not open 24 hours, as the airport cannot maintain services that long. There is also a business centre, where one can perform some work-related tasks. Banking services are also offered, which is helpful for those who need to do some financial transactions.
A VIP lounge can also be found here, which is decorated the Polynesian way. It has a calm and laidback atmosphere with a range of amenities available for visiting VIPs. Those who want optimum service will be assisted throughout their stay in the airport, from the baggage loading and check-in up to boarding. A travel officer can serve up to five passengers in a group, which can be suitable for families and other large groups heading in or out of Fa'a'ā International Airport.
There are various shopping opportunities to look forward to when arriving at this port of entry. A flower shop offers different types of plants, flowers, and even fruits for export. Cosmetic products can also be brought here, as well. Souvenirs and black pearls abound, including books, cigarettes, and local and international newspapers. Duty free shops are also available, where one can purchase different goods. Bars and fast food outlets can also be found, where one can get snacks. There are also wireless Internet facilities and then car rental facilities to use for transport.