Fiji Airways

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Fiji Airways
Fiji Airways logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
FJ FJI FIJI
Founded 1947
Commenced operations 1951
Hubs Nadi International Airport
Secondary hubs Nausori International Airport
Alliance Oneworld (Connect Partner)[1]
Subsidiaries Fiji Link
Fleet size 11
Destinations 23
Parent company Fiji Airways Group
Headquarters Nadi International Airport
Nadi, Fiji
Key people Andre Viljoen (Managing Director & CEO)
Rajesh Punja (Chairman)
Employees 1300
Website fijiairways.com

Fiji Airways (trading as and formerly known as Air Pacific), is the flag carrier airline of Fiji.[2][3] and operates international services to 13 countries and 23 cities including Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands (Oceania), the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore. It has an extended network of 108 international destinations through its codeshare partners. The airline resumed direct flights to Narita, Tokyo on 3 July 2018. The Fiji Airways Group brings in 64 percent of all visitors who fly to Fiji, employs over 1000 employees, and earns revenues of over FJD$815 million (USD $390m).[2]

The first commercial flight as Fiji Airways was made in 1951 but the airline's origins date back to Katafaga Estates Ltd. formed in 1947. After being acquired by Qantas in 1958, Katafaga Estates was retooled as a regional airline and renamed Air Pacific. In May 2012, MD/CEO David Pflieger announced that as the final part of the airline’s successful turnaround, the airline would be returning to its former name of Fiji Airways to reinforce its role as the national airline of Fiji.[4] The Fiji government owns 52% of the airline and Qantas 46%, with the governments of several Pacific island nations holding the remainder.[2][5] The airline plans to replace five of its older Boeing 737s with Boeing's newest 737 MAX 8s upon delivery in late 2018, at a list price of about US$110 million each. Two of the new Boeings are scheduled to arrive in 2018, and the remainder the following year. The planes are intended for Fiji Airways' regional services to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The airline was founded by Australian aviator Harold Gatty who in 1931 had been the navigator on a record-breaking round-the-world flight with Wiley Post. Gatty moved to Fiji after World War II and registered the airline in 1947 as Katafaga Estates Ltd., after the coconut estate Gatty had established on Fiji's eastern island group. Gatty renamed the airline as Fiji Airways in September 1951.[6][7] The New Zealander Fred Ladd was Fiji Airways' first Chief Pilot.[8]

Air Pacific[edit]

After Gatty's death in 1958,[7] Fiji Airways was acquired by Qantas.[6] Initially, Qantas tried to create international support for a multinational, shared, regional airline. By 1966 Fiji Airways's shareholders included the governments of Tonga, Western Samoa, Nauru, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands.[6][9]

After Fiji gained independence from Great Britain in 1970, the new national government began buying shares and the airline was renamed Air Pacific to reflect its regional presence.[5][10]

By the early 1970s, seven Pacific island governments, some still under British rule at the time, held shares in Air Pacific, in addition to shares held by Qantas, TEAL (now Air New Zealand) and the British Overseas Airways Corporation (later merged to form British Airways). However, the regional airline idea lost support as some of the shareholding Pacific island governments sold their shares and created their own national airlines.[7][9]

In the 1970s, tourism became the nation's leading industry, which made the airline even more important to the Fijian economy; and the government of Fiji acquired a controlling interest in Air Pacific in 1974.[6] In 1981, the New York Times published an article that included details on the Fiji government's plan to buy out more shareholders in order to gain more control of Air Pacific as the national airline. However, the airline received no subsidies from the government and had to buy its own aircraft.[6][9]

In the 1990s the airline relocated its headquarters from the capital city of Suva to the coastal town of Nadi where the main international airport is located.[6] The company also constructed an elaborate aircraft maintenance center there.

The Air Pacific between the 2003 and it's rebranding in 2013.
The Air Pacific between the 2003 and it's rebranding in 2013.

In 2007, Air Pacific acquired Sun Air, a domestic airline, renamed it Pacific Sun and began operations as Air Pacific's domestic and regional subsidiary. In May 2012, Managing Director & CEO Dave Pflieger announced that the airline, which was completing a successful turnaround that included restructuring and re-fleeting, would be re-branded as “Fiji Airways” to help enhance sales and marketing of the airline and the south pacific island nation. In June 2014, Pacific Sun was rebranded to Fiji Link.[6][7]

Flight history[edit]

Fiji Airways' first flight was on 1 September 1951, when a seven-seater de Havilland Dragon Rapide biplane departed Suva's Nausori Airport for Drasa Airport near Lautoka, on the west coast of the main island.[7] The airline's first international flight to Brisbane, Australia was on 1 June 1973.[6]

In 1983 it started flights to the USA with a route to Honolulu called “Project America.”

In December 2009, Air Pacific commenced a twice weekly service to Hong Kong, which was increased to three services in January 2014. In July 2010 Air Pacific announced a new Suva-Auckland service.

Today, the airline and its domestic/regional subsidiary, Fiji Link, operate over 400 flights a week to almost 15 cities in 10 countries around the world.

Fleet history[edit]

In the beginning Fiji Airways used small de Havilland Dragon Rapide and de Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover aircraft. The fleet grew to include two ATR 42 turboprops and two leased jets, a Boeing 747 and a Boeing 767. By the late 1990s, the fleet included both Boeing 737 and 767 jets, while the ATR 42 turboprops were used on flights to neighboring islands.[6]

The 2000 Fijian coup d'état devastated the country's tourism industry and overall economy, which led to a substantial decrease in travel to Fiji. Faced with a falloff in air traffic, Air Pacific returned one of its two leased Boeing 747s.[6]

In 2003, Air Pacific received the first of it's 2 Boeing 747-400s it was leasing from Singapore Airlines (They had previously been leased with Ansett Australia until it's downfall in 2001).

In April 2011, Air Pacific announced that it had cancelled its order of eight Boeing 787-9s due to delivery delays of almost four years by Boeing. In October 2011, Air Pacific announced that it had ordered three Airbus A330-200s.

DQ-FJK, one of the 2 Boeing 747-412s retired by Air Pacifc in June 2013..
DQ-FJK, one of the 2 Boeing 747-412s retired by Air Pacifc in June 2013 due to its rebranding as Fiji Airways.

In March 2013 the company received its first “Fiji Airways” re-branded Airbus A330. It was christened The Island of Taveuni and had its first flight to Auckland on 2 April.[2][11] . In June, one of the Boeing 747-400s was retired. The other one Although 'withdrawn from service' it was used on an ad-hoc basis when needed. It was finally retired on November 20, 2013 where it was flow to be scrapped.[12] Today the fleet includes four Airbus A330-200s, one Airbus A330-300, four Boeing 737-800s and one Boeing 737-700. Fiji Link operates two ATR 72-600, an ATR 42-600 and three de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft.[13] In preparation of the rebranding, Air Pacific retired its Boeing 747-412s from service.

Airline Partnerships[edit]

In conjunction with Qantas, Air Pacific helped pioneer the concept of codeshare agreements in the early 1980s.[6][5] Today, codesharing is an accepted airline practice the world over. In the 1990s Air Pacific signed a codeshare agreement with Canadian Airlines, allowing it to transport traffic from Toronto on to Auckland, New Zealand. Soon after it struck a codeshare deal with American Airlines.[5] As of 2014, Fiji Airways partners with Qantas, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Solomon Airlines.[14]

Qantas, which owned less than 20% of Air Pacific at the time, began a ten-year management contract with the airline in 1985 to help reverse the financial losses the company was struggling with. In 1986, Air Pacific posted a profit of nearly $100,000. In 1987 Qantas paid a reported $3.5 million for a 20 percent stake in Air Pacific. Qantas raised its equity from 17.45 percent to 46 percent in 1998.[6]

On 25 January 1995 Air Pacific and the then Royal Tongan Airlines began a joint leasing of aircraft. The concept came complete with the livery of the two airlines painted on each side of the Boeing 737-300 fuselage.[6]

Fiji Airways has a subsidiary airline Fiji Link (formerly Pacific Sun) that offers domestic flights and flights to the nearby islands of Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.[15] Fiji Airways is also a partner with the frequent flyer programmes of Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Qantas.[11]

Fiji Airways code shares with Qantas, American Airlines, Jetstar, Jetstar Asia, Cathay Pacific, Jet Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, Samoa Airways, Solomon Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Air Vanuatu, Silk Air, Singapore Airlines.

Rebranding[edit]

In May 2012, the airline announced that it would be rebranding and revert to its original name of Fiji Airways, with the rebranding coinciding with the delivery of the A330 aircraft in 2013.[10] Fiji Airways' new brandmark, a "Masi symbol that epitomises Fiji and enhances the new name of Fiji's national carrier", was announced by Managing Director & CEO Dave Pflieger on 17 August 2012. The design was created by local Fijian Masi artist, Makereta Matemosi.[16] The airline's new brand identity and colour scheme were fully revealed by the CEO and Prime Minister of Fiji at a formal red-carpet, black-tie event in Suva on 10 October 2012, in conjunction with Fiji Day.[17]

The rebranding to Fiji Airways officially took place on 27 June 2013. The name change aimed to associate the airline more closely with the nation and to be more visible in search results.Also during the rebranding of Air Pacific to Fiji Airways, a new line of uniforms for its cabin crew was launched, and was designed by Fiji-based French designer Alexandra Poenaru-Philp. In China, the name Air Pacific was often confused with Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific, Philippine airline Cebu Pacific and a Chinese air conditioning company.[2] With the rebranding came a name change for the airline's booking classes. The Pacific Voyager (economy) and Tabua Class (business) of Air Pacific became the Fiji Airways' Economy and Fiji Airways' Business Class.[2] The airline also launched a new website with the rebranding.[11]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Ownership and structure[edit]

Fiji Airways is part of the Air Pacific Group (which includes the national airline, its wholly owned subsidiary Fiji Link, and a 38.75% stake in the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa on Denarau Island). The Air Pacific Group itself is owned by the Fijian government (51%), the Australian flag-carrier Qantas (46.32%), and Air New Zealand and the governments of Kiribati, Tonga, Nauru and Samoa each hold minor stakes.[10]

Business trends[edit]

The airline was largely profitable from 1995 to 2004, but suffered back-to-back record losses of FJ$5.2 million for fiscal year 2008/2009 and FJ$65.3 million for 2009/2010. In early 2010 a new MD/CEO, Dave Pflieger, was recruited to turn the airline around and restore it to profitability. Having successfully accomplished that task and ensuring the airline was extremely well positioned for future success and increasing profitability, Pflieger returned to the United States at the end of his contract with the airline in the third quarter of 2013. Stefan Pichler was selected as the airline's new MD/CEO and assumed his role in September 2013.[18]

The key trends for Fiji Airways, and the overall Group (including Fiji Link operations), are shown below (as at year ending 31 March until March 2013; year ending 31 December thereafter):

Mar
2009
Mar
2010
Mar
2011
Mar
2012
Mar
2013
*Dec
2013
Dec
2014
Dec
2015
Dec
2016
Dec
2017
Fiji Airways
Turnover (FJ$m) 515.0 555.3 645.9 659.7 735.6
Profit (before tax)(FJ$m) −91.8 −3.7 16.5 18.0 8.3 65.2
Statutory profit after income tax (FJ$m) −5.2 −65.3 24.8 11.4 14.1 8.7 55.6
Number of aircraft (at year end) 6 6 7 7 7 9
Air Pacific Group
Turnover (FJ$m) 544.6 586.7 678.3 690.6 541.2 769.5 815.3 825.3 929
Profit (before tax)(FJ$m) −78.5 −4.3 14.2 22.4 14.2 60.8 70.2 84.5 95.8
Profit after income tax (FJ$m) −58.9 25.3 10.7 17.8 14.5 52.9
Number of employees 800 n/a n/a n/a >1,000 1,384
Number of passengers (m) 1.1 1.2 1.2 n/a 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.6
Passenger load factor (%) n/a 77 83
Number of aircraft (at year end) 13 12 16
Notes/sources [19] [20][21] [22] [23] *9 mon
[24]
[25] [26][27] [28] [29]

Corporate Partnerships[edit]

In October 2017, Fiji Airways announced its most comprehensive sponsorship to date, becoming the official airline of Fiji Rugby. The sponsorship saw Fiji Airways taking over the following Fiji Rugby teams with major naming and branding rights for the next five years: Fiji Airways Flying Fijians (15s team); Fiji Airways National 7s Team; Fiji Airways Fijiana 15s Team (Women's 15s team); Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s Team (Women's 7s team); Fiji Airways Drua; Fiji Link Referees (all referees in Fiji will be sponsored by and will wear Fiji Link branded apparel).

In February 2018, it announced its exclusive airline sponsorship of Super Rugby champions, the BNZ Crusaders.

The airline is also a sponsor of the Fiji International Golf tournament.

Destinations[edit]

Fiji Airways serves 23 direct-flight destinations in the Pacific Ocean region.[30]

Codeshare agreements for Fiji Airways[edit]

Fiji Airways codeshares with the following airlines:[14][31]

Fleet[edit]

Current fleet[edit]

A Fiji Airways Airbus A330-200 landing at Los Angeles International Airport in August 2013.
A Fiji Airways Boeing 737-800 in December 2013.
A Boeing 767-300 in Air Pacific colors in August 2011.
a Boeing 747-400 owned by Air Pacific taking off from Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport
a Air Pacific 747-400 taking off from Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport

The Fiji Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of May 2018):[35][36]

Fiji Airways fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
T V Total
Airbus A330-200 5 24 249 273 2 aircraft on short term lease while Fiji airways decide on new widebody order[37][38]
18 233 251
Airbus A330-300 1 24 289 313 [39]
Boeing 737-700 1 8 114 122
Boeing 737-800 4 8 154 162
162 170
Boeing 737 MAX 8 5 8 178 186 First to be delivered in November 2018 until in 2019.[40]
Total 11 5

Historical fleet[edit]

Former jet aircraft include examples of the Boeing 777 (on wet lease), Boeing 767, Boeing 747, British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Known details include:

Fiji Airways historical fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Notes
Boeing 737-200 1 1981 1990
Boeing 737-300 1 1995 1999
Boeing 737-500 1 1992 1999
Boeing 747-100 1 1988 1989
Boeing 747-200 8 1985 2001
Boeing 747-400 2 2003 2013 Replaced by A330
Boeing 767-200 1 1990 1994
Boeing 767-300ER 1 1994 2012
Boeing 777-200ER 1 2012 2012 Wet leased from EuroAtlantic Airways.
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 1 1983 1985

Also operated were regional and commuter turboprop and prop aircraft including:

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • No Fiji Airways aircraft have been involved in an incident but Fiji Airways subsidiary Fiji Link’s ATR 72-600 was involved in an incident on February 13, 2018. Fiji Link Flight 7 was forced to return to Nadi after one of its engines caught fire. The flight was on its domestic service to Suva from Nadi International Airport. The airline says that the crew operating the aircraft, registered DQ-FJX, were alerted to an engine fire and activated the extinguishing system before returning the aircraft to Nadi. Nobody was injured during the incident, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji is investigating.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FIJI AIRWAYS TO JOIN oneworld AS 'CONNECT' PARTNER | Fiji Airways". www.fijiairways.com. Retrieved 3 June 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Creedy, Steve (19 March 2013). "Air Pacific gets first Airbus A330 as part of its Fiji Airways rebranding". TheAustralian.com.au. News Corps Australia. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  3. ^ <!-nal Directory of Company Histories, Vol 70 (2005). "Terms and Conditions of Carriage for Fiji Airways and Fiji Link" (PDF). St. James Press. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Parker Brown, David (October 2012). "AIR PACIFIC CHANGES NAME TO FIJI AIRWAYS AND SHOWS OFF NEW LIVERY AND INTERIOR". Airline Reporter. DAVID PARKER BROWN. 
  5. ^ a b c d Lefer, Henry (February 2000). "Fijian carrier ranges far and wide from its South Pacific home". Transport World Vol. 37 Issue 2. Penton Media, Inc. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Air Pacific Ltd. History". International Directory of Company Histories, Vol 70. St. James Press. 2005. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "SIX DECADES OF FLYING TO FIJI". FijiAirways.com. Air Pacific Limited. 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Waugh, Richard. "Frederick Patrick Ladd". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c Hollie, Pamela G (24 October 1981). "NEW PACIFIC INDUSTRY: AIRLINES". https://www.nytimes.com/1981/10/24/business/new-pacific-industry-airlines.html. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2 January 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  10. ^ a b c Gibson, Nevil (15 May 2012). "Air Pacific reverts to original Fiji Airways name". NBR.co.nz. National Business Review. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c Martin, Grant (27 June 2013). "Fiji Has A New National Airline And It's Beautiful". Forbes.com. Forbes Media. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "VH-ANB Boeing 747-412". www.aussieairliners.org. Retrieved 2018-08-12. 
  13. ^ "Our Fleet". FijiAirways.com. Air Pacific Limited. 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Partner Airlines". FijiAirways.com. Air Pacific Limited. 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "Fiji Airways". Rebrand.com. REBRAND. 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  16. ^ Drum, Bruce (17 August 2012). "Air Pacific reveals today its new Fiji Airways brand". World Airline News. Bruce Drum. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  17. ^ Nasiko, Repeka (7 September 2013). "Pichler joins Fiji Airways". FijiTimes.com. Fiji Times Ltd. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "Air Pacific Announces FY2010/2011 Financial Results". 13 December 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Air Pacific Announces FY2010/2011 Financial Results". 13 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  20. ^ "Fiji's National Airline achieves another milestone in turnaround strategy". 14 May 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  21. ^ "Air Pacific Announces FY2011/2012 Financial Results". 25 June 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  22. ^ "Air Pacific Announces FY2012/2013 Financial Results". 23 July 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  23. ^ "Fiji Airways Group Announces Highest-Ever Operating Profits of $60.8M" (Press release). Fiji Airways. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  24. ^ "Fiji Airways Group Announces Highest-Ever Operating Profits of $60.8M" (Press release). Fiji Airways. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  25. ^ "Fiji Airways Group Announces Record Profit" (Press release). Scoop Independent News. 13 April 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  26. ^ "SFO Welcomes Fiji Airways" (Press release). San Francisco International Airport. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  27. ^ "Record F$84.5M Profit For Fiji Airways Group" (Press release). Fiji Airways. 16 Mar 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  28. ^ "Fiji Airways Group Announces Record F$95.8M Profit for 2017" (Press release). Fiji Airways. 26 Mar 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018. 
  29. ^ "Route Map". FijiAirways.com. Air Pacific Limited. 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  30. ^ "Profile on Fiji Airways". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 2016-10-29. Retrieved 2016-10-29. 
  31. ^ "Fiji Airways / Jet Airways begins codeshare flights from March 2017". Routesonline. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
  32. ^ a b "Singapore Airlines And SilkAir To Codeshare With Fiji Airways". www.singaporeair.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018. 
  33. ^ a b "SINGAPORE AIRLINES AND SILKAIR TO CODESHARE WITH FIJI AIRWAYS". www.fijiairways.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018. 
  34. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 14. 
  35. ^ "Fiji Airways Fleet Details and History". 
  36. ^ "Air Pacific selects versatile A330 for fleet renewal and growth" Airbus.com. October 25, 2011. [1].
  37. ^ "Fiji Airways expands fleet with Airbus and Boeing jets".  Retrieved
  38. ^ "Fiji Airways order 4th A330".  Retrieved 2015-01
  39. ^ "Fiji Airways to upgrade Adelaide product as 737 MAX 8s are introduced – Blue Swan Daily". blueswandaily.com. Retrieved July 5, 2018. 
  40. ^ Taylor, Ellis (13 February 2018). "Fiji Link ATR 72 in engine fire incident". FlightGlobal. 

External links[edit]