Friday, 12 September 2014: The Fiji Airways Group yesterday welcomed its new ATR 42-600 aircraft for its subsidiary, Fiji Link at the airline’s Head Office in Nadi.
The new aircraft, which made the long journey to its new home from Toulouse in France, is in line with the National Airline’s Five-Year-Masterplan to increase its fleet size by 25% and expand relevant Fiji Link capacity by 12.3% in the domestic market.
Stefan Pichler, Fiji Airways Group Managing Director and CEO said: “As we announced in January, we have set ourselves the goal to become a leading boutique airline with prudent and sustainable capacity increases across our network. Bringing in new aircraft such as this new ATR42 will help us in our capacity requirementsalso in the domestic and regional markets, as well provide our passengers the friendly Fiji Link hospitality in the comfort of a new plane.”
Leased from Denmark-based Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), the aircraft will service Fiji Link’s domestic routes between Nadi, Suva and Labasa, along with some regional flights on behalf of Fiji Airways.
The aircraft was welcomed by Fiji Link staff and Fiji Airways with a traditional welcome and cere ceremony.
“There’s always a great deal of excitement among our staff whenever we receive a new member joins our aircraft fleet. Over the past two years we have received five aircraft between Fiji Airways and Fiji Link, but the excitement hasn’t died down. Our team knows that the new aircraft mean we as a company are growing and progressing,” said Mr Pichler.
Shaenaz Voss, Fiji Link General Manager commented: “Our customers from Labasa will actually get to experience this aircraft quite a lot due to its flying schedule. We hope to get even better reliability from the new aircraft. This newest series of the ATR 42 seats 40 passengers and is among the latest in regional aircraft operations. A lot of hard work from Fiji Link, Fiji Airways and our regulators CAAF has enabled this acquisition and I’m grateful to everyone for their assistance.”
Fiji Airways will shortly announce further enhancements for domestic and regional travel, including new ground uniforms. The airline’s two existing ATR 42-500s will exit the fleet later in the year as a second ATR72-600 joins the fleet in late December.