Browsing Tag: SEA

Air Tahiti Nui’s 787-9 Deamliners will fly the new route between Seattle and Papeete

Air Tahiti Nui launched service to Seattle on October 5, 2022, offering twice-weekly direct service to Papeete on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

“North America is a key market for our destination. So, when we decided to open a second gateway on the West Coast, Seattle was a natural answer for us,” said Air Tahiti Nui Managing Director Mathieu Bechonnet. “I would like to thank our partners at Alaska Airlines and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for their warm welcome and support in making this happen.”

The inaugural flight was greeted with a traditional water-cannon salute from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Fire Department. The aircraft can be seen passing beneath SEA’s recently-opened pedestrian skybridge linking the S Gates to the new international arrivals hall.

The airline and airport hosted a gala-like arrivals ceremony complete with the requisite speeches, gift exchange, and traditional dancers.

Dancers performed to traditional Tahitian music

The 4,785-mile flight’s scheduled duration is eight hours and forty-seven minutes, which takes a bit less time than the 4,800-mile flight from Seattle to London.

Air Force One approaching the ramp at SEA
Air Force One approaching the ramp at SEA

It’s arguably the most iconic livery on the most iconic aircraft in service. It’s blue-and-white livery is instantly identifiable to both AvGeeks and those who view planes as simply flying buses.

Officially designated the VC-25 by the U.S. Air Force, two heavily-modified Boeing 747-200s have been in service since 1990.

Air Force One moments from landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Air Force One moments from landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

By now, most AvGeeks know that any aircraft can be designated as Air Force One – the callsign is only active if the president is on board. Thus the modified 757s (officially C-32As) can also carry the callsign when the president is aboard.

The Seattle area sees C-32As fairly regularly, as high-ranking officials other than the president often visit the region, such as the vice president. The VC-25 hasn’t been in these parts since 2018, and we last wrote about a visit here in 2015, so we were due for an update.

Alaska Airlines new Starwars themed 737-800
The new Star Wars themed Alaska Airlines Boeing 737, registration N538AS

I might as well get this out of the way right at the start: I am a Trekkie. I have tried to love Star Wars and I can appreciate it for what it is. But I have just never been able to get into it and I know not too much about the franchise (spoiler alert: I think Darth Vader is Luke’s father and Luke is Princess Layla’s sister which caused some family awkwardness all around).

However… when you put a nice looking Star Wars livery on a 737, I can sway my sci fi space nerd alliances for one morning. This week (on what was appropriately May 4th), Alaska Airlines unveiled their newest special Disney livery. 

Live long and prosper! It is a positive saying, no matter what universe you are in.
Live long and prosper! It is a positive saying, no matter what universe you are in.

It has an eye catching black background with many Star Wars-themed designs and a beautiful green Millennium Falcon “emblazoned” onto the tail. And this isn’t your rattle can paint job. It took 228 gallons of paint, 540 work hours, and over 27 days to complete. 

This is the seventh Disney-themed aircraft for the airline; this one celebrates Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The aircraft’s official name is “Star Wars Transport to the Disneyland Resort,” but you can just call her “SWTttDR” for short.