Caption: Fiji Airways crew with the the chief of Yasawa- I -Rara outside the new A330 Airbus which jetted into the Nadi International Airport this morning. Photos: MARGARET NAQIRI. For more photos, click here:- https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.583526145018155.1073741942.131483256889115&type=3
Nadi, Fiji: Fiji Airways today welcomed the third brand new A330 aircraft to its fleet, capping off a remarkable year of turnaround for Fiji’s national carrier.
Christened ‘Island of Yasawa-i-rara’, after the beautiful chain of islands northwest of Nadi, the new A330 aircraft is adorned with the new Fiji Airways branding and MakeretaMatemosi’s stunning Fijian masi art.
After a low fly-over the Yasawa islands, the aircraft touched down at Nadi International Airport and was welcomed at the Fiji Airways hangar facility in a traditional Fijian ceremony. Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama officiated at the welcome ceremony which was witnessed by other Fijian dignitaries, and hundreds of guests and Fiji Airways staff.
The Yasawa Islands play a key role in Fiji’s all-important tourism industry, and is dotted with unique boutique resorts and flash-packer properties. The name of the aircraft was recommended by the Fijian Prime Minister himself, in recognition of the islands’ contribution to Fiji’s economy.
‘Island of Yasawa-i-rara’ is the third of three A330s the carrier had on order with Airbus. The three arrivals mark the end of the long haul fleet’s transition for Fiji Airways, with its remaining B747 aircraft to be retired shortly. The other A330s in the fleet are named ‘Island of Taveuni’ and ‘Island of Namuka-i-lau’.
Stefan Pichler, Fiji Airways’ Managing Director and CEO said: “The new A330 is set to not only improve our schedules, but to also boost our profitability and the reliability of our services. It is enabling us to introduce a third Fiji – Hong Kong service from December, and will enable more direct flights to our key markets, as well as many more connections with partner airlines around the globe. The expansion of our long haul fleet is helping to bring the world to Fiji, opening up new source markets for Fiji tourism and helping to boost the Fijian economy.”
With three brand new A330 aircraft and a short haul fleet of four newly-refurbished B737 aircraft, Fiji Airways has embarked on a plan to become one of the world’s leading boutique airlines. It is embarking on a new five-year plan to re-assess and modernise its fundamental processes, including working on a new network strategy.
“This is exciting times for us at Fiji Airways. The arrival of our third A330 marks more than two years of intensive planning to rebuild our airline, and turn it around to profitability; and of course we’ve had an 18 month brand transition phase to where we are today.As Fiji’s national airline we are proud to be playing our part in driving Fiji tourism into the future – there’s a lot to look forward to,” says Mr Pichler.