United Airlines is adding nonstop flights from San Francisco to Pape'ete, the capital of Tahiti and the “South Pacific's gateway to more than 118 islands in French Polynesia,” as the airline calls it.
Starting in October, United will be the only U.S. airline to fly nonstop from the U.S. mainland to the islands. (Hawaiian already offers service from Honolulu.)
“We know our customers want more destinations to choose from to escape the winter weather, and we look forward to being the airline that connects them to this corner of paradise,” Patrick Quayle, United's vice president of international network, said in a statement.
Of course, United isn’t the only game in town when it comes to nonstop flights from the U.S. to French Polynesia. Air France and Air Tahiti Nui fly to Pape'ete from Los Angeles International Airport.
But more service isn't only more convenient — it could mean more competition leading to lower airfares. Next week, United is launching increased service to Hawaii on 11 routes, and that's added competition that's made it easier to find cheap flights to the lovely state.
Back to the Tahiti announcement: United's San Francisco hub isn't only convenient for travelers in the U.S. Quayle told Forbes the new service will “allow connectivity via the San Francisco hub, and then passengers from Western Europe and Tel Aviv will have one-stop.”
Flights are on sale now for seasonal service from Oct. 30, 2018 through March 28, 2019, although the route is technically still subject to regulatory approval.
This is the 13th international route United has announced this year, after Reykjavik and Porto, among others, USA Today reported.