Fiji Airways eyes more North America and Asia routes as latest A350 arrives

by James Wilkinson

Fiji Airways is eyeing more global routes, including Dallas, Seattle, Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul, following the delivery of the carrier’s third Airbus A350-900XWB this week (15 Aug).

The additional A350, which features the airline’s brilliant, new Business ‘Suite’ seats has already been deployed on major routes this week, operating services to Hong Kong, Sydney and Vancouver, with Melbourne also set to set to join the rotation.

Fiji Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andre Viljoen, said one of the five ‘game changer’ strategies the carrier has relentlessly pursuing since 2017 has been the modernisation of the fleet with ‘new generation’ aircraft such as the Airbus A350.

“The A350 with its superior cabin, significant fuel savings and substantial cargo capacity has fast become the pride of our airline and the joy of our passengers,” he said.

“The Island of Beqa is brand new having been put into storage immediately after manufacturing. We were able to negotiate a lucrative deal to acquire it.

“The Island of Beqa will add more capacity to our leading source markets of Australia and New Zealand, North American long-haul flights to San Francisco and Vancouver, as well as Hong Kong which is our current gateway to China.

“The A350-900XWB combines the very latest aerodynamics, new generation engines and use of lightweight materials, to bring a 25% advantage in fuel burn, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and operating costs compared to previous generation aircraft.

“These modern, state-of-the-art aircraft also enable us to explore new destinations much further than our current network. For example, the A350 XWBs are capable of flying much deeper into the United States or Canada.”

Viljoen said the airline is now in a stronger position to explore new destinations across the globe for the A350 and four-strong A330 fleet, including Dallas, Seattle, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul.

A fourth A350 is expected to join the Fiji Airways fleet in the coming weeks and that is helping further increase inbound tourism to Fiji.

“Fiji Airways brings in 70 percent of all visitors to Fiji,” Viljoen said. “We are crucial to the long-term sustainable growth of the tourism industry which is 45 percent of our Gross Domestic Product and the largest employer in the country.

“As the national airline we recognize our role is not just to be the bridge to and from the world but to support the growth of tourism, one of the ways we can do this is by introducing new destinations with potential for high tourism opportunities.”

Viljoen also revealed the carrier was looking at more short- and medium-haul routes to the network, operated by new Boeing 787-8 aircraft, including Noumea, Wallis, Rarotonga, Port Moresby and several additional destinations in Australia.