Fiji Welcomes First Flight of International Visitors in 20 Months

Consolidated media – Fiji Airways, Fiji Airports, Tourism Fiji.

Consolidated media (Fiji Airways, Fiji Airports, Tourism Fiji) 1 December 2021 – FIJI has officially welcomed the arrival of inbound tourists from Sydney, Australia, for the first time in 20 months marking the exciting resumption of international tourism.

Fiji Airways’ first tourist flight took passengers on a special flyover of resorts in Nadi and the Coral Coast, where our beaches were lined with tourism teams offering a resounding series of Bula! to welcome our visitors.

Fiji Airways Managing Director & CEO Andre Viljoen said: “Today is a very special day as we welcome back our Aussie friends. We have been working hard since March last year to prepare for this moment and ensure our guests have the safest and most enjoyable travel experience possible. We have incorporated an award-winning new Travel Ready safety programme, new in-flight entertainment for travellers of all ages and new seat selection options to enhance comfort for the long-haul and mid-haul flights.”

Following the flyover, guests arrived at 11:25 am and were welcomed with a water salute, traditional performances and a Fijian Government delegation led by the Hon. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at Nadi International Airport.

“We are absolutely excited and thrilled to be welcoming our passengers back to Nadi International Airport,” said Isei Tudreu, acting CEO of Fiji Airports.

“This is a very special moment for all of us in the aviation and tourism industry with the resumption of air travel. The spectacular welcome this morning with our warmth and hospitality echoing across the entire airport terminal has truly been a heart-warming experience for our first Fiji Airways flight.

“Nadi International Airport is one of the safest airports in the world and was only last week reaccredited under the Airport Health Accreditation for maintaining internationally recognised COVID-19 safety measures. Our priority is and will always be the health, safety and well-being of our passengers. We have evolved our airport experience to ensure our passengers are COVID safe and at the same time have a safe and seamless airport journey.”

From Fiji’s main gateway airport, passengers were then transported to one of over 200 hotels and resorts certified by the Care Fiji Commitment Programme, which ensures these properties uphold globally benchmarked COVID-safety practices that are approved by the World Health Organization and recognized by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Prior to the pandemic, tourism was Fiji’s largest source of employment and accounted for nearly 40 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

“Fiji is Open for Happiness. From airline to accommodation, Fiji tourism operators and related services have worked hard to ensure and uphold internationally benchmarked COVID-safety practices, and the resumption of both domestic and international tourism is a credit to Fiji’s collective commitment for public safety, and safe and seamless travel,” said Brent Hill, CEO Tourism Fiji.

As part of Fiji’s commitment to safety, over 90 percent of the country’s eligible adult population are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than 700 tourism-related service providers are registered under the Care Fiji Commitment Program overseen by Tourism Fiji.

Nadi International Airport is the first airport in the South Pacific to be awarded the Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation for its Travel Safe program and national airline Fiji Airways is certified with the highest level 5-star COVID19 Airline Safety Rating by the SKYTRAX COVID-19 Airline Safety Accreditation.

Fiji is also a recipient of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp, which enables both business and leisure travellers to distinguish destinations around the world with health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so they can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

This first flight from Sydney was followed by two more from Sydney and Brisbane, as Fiji reopens to fully vaccinated visitors from travel partner countries, for quarantine-free travel.