The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) and Fiji Airways today announced that the National Carrier will make a further lump sum repayment of FJD $20m on its loan facility with the superannuation fund. The lump sum further repayment now reduces the Fiji Airways loan with the FNPF to below $100m dollars. This repayment is over and above Fiji Airways contractually stipulated payment schedule with the FNPF for the initial down payment for its three A330 aircraft.
In May last year, Fiji Airways had opted not to draw down $35.5m of the original loan and also made an early payment of just under $19m towards the new loan facility because of its strong financial position. To date, Fiji Airways has honoured of all its repayment obligations to the FNPF under the terms of the agreement between the two entities.
FNPF Chairman Mr Ajith Kodagoda said: “By making this early repayment, Fiji Airways has once again re-affirmed the confidence that the Fund had in lending to our national carrier.” “This early repayment is testament of the strong financial performance of the company and the Fund is proud to have contributed to the success of Fiji Airways,” Mr Kodagoda said.
David Bowden, Fiji Airways’ Acting CEO said: “On the back of our financial results last year in which we recorded a profit of $60.8m, we are able to move ahead of our payment schedule. It’s another demonstration of how the sustainable financial and commercial decisions we are making for the airline are allowing us to meet all our obligations to our shareholders, staff and other stakeholders”
“We’re delighted to make another lump sum early repayment which significantly lowers the FNPF’s exposure on this loan amount. Fiji Airways has an excellent business partnership with the FNPF and will be using our strong financial position to ensure our loans are paid off well before time.”
The Attorney General and Minister for Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, welcomed the early payment and said it vindicated the FNPF’s investment in Fiji Airways. “The Fijian people have every reason to be satisfied that the decision by their national superannuation fund to invest in our national airline was not only prudent but in their interests and the national interest. Fiji Airways is performing strongly, is repaying its loans well ahead of schedule and the Government has every confidence this will continue”, he said.
Mr Kodagoda added that in addition to its commercial merits, the FNPF’s decision to partner with Fiji Airways in its re-fleeting program was also a strategic one.
“The airline is a key player in Fiji’s tourism sector and its success is critical for the country. It also complements the FNPF’s other investments in hotels such as Intercontinental Natadola and the upcoming Marriott Hotel in Momi.