Fiji Airways welcomes new Airbus A350-900 XWB — Island of Beqa

Fiji Airways welcomes new Airbus A350-900 XWB — Island of Beqa

National air carrier to become a $2b business

The Fiji Times, 17 August 2023 – FIJI Airways is expected to grow to a $2 billion business by the end of the year. Airline managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen said the airline’s growth had been exponential and even better than pre-COVID19 figures.

“We are also banking record amounts. We are forecasting that by December 23, we will reach banking records this year of $2b. We have even started repaying COVID debts. I am also pleased to confirm that we have restored our profitability by October 2022 and are forecasting a record profit for this year,” he said.

Mr Viljoen explained that as they continued to explore expansion plans, the addition of new routes and increased frequency of flights were on the horizon. “I have been repeatedly asked the question where these aircraft can fly to. So, first of all, they’re going to service four key markets that we currently fly.”

“It will be Vancouver and San Francisco in North America, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, Auckland in New Zealand, and Hong Kong, which is our current gateway to China. With these additional A350s, they actually enable us to fly even further in our network. For example, they are capable of flying much deeper into the United States and Canada. There is Dallas, Seattle, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and, close to home, Noumea, Wallis, Rarotonga, Port Moresby and there are several other Australian destinations,” he said.

Mr Viljoen said their bold steps over the past seven years had systematically elevated the airline each year.

Economic powerhouse

The Fiji Times, 17 August 2023 – FIJI Airways is an economic powerhouse, according to Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka. Speaking in Nadi, Mr Rabuka said the national airline spent about $450million locally every year. “It is a big earner of foreign currency. In 2023, their total earnings is expected to be $1.5 billion. We can add to that a projected payment of $80m in departure taxes, ”he said.

Mr Rabuka said while the airline contributed a significant amount of money into Fiji’s economy, it also invested in its own people. “The budgeted costs of Fiji Airways’ workforce this year is $182m, including salaries and other related expenses. This money, too, circulates through our economy. By year’s end, the staff total is expected to be more than 2000. I pay tribute to the entire Fiji Airways workforce for their skills, competence and diligence, and I could add, friendliness.”

The Prime Minister said the airline’s plans to grow its fleet and explore new routes would bring more benefits to the national economy. “The experts of Fiji Airways calculate that compared with 2019, the airline may now have up to 40 per cent more passenger capacity depending on route schedule. Fiji Airways is carefully considering acquiring more aircrafts and further increasing capacity in some existing routes. Feasibility studies are ongoing on potential new routes, some of them connect to very large markets and all we got to do is make Fiji great.”