After inspecting the first of Fiji Airways’ three new Airbus A330s in France today, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the new aircraft would be the pride of Fiji’s national airline.
The Prime Minister said that it was a very proud moment for him to witness Fiji’s newest aircraft for the first time – complete with the Fijian masi design and the new Fiji Airways logo.
“This is a very exciting day for all Fijians. This is the first time in the history of Air Pacific – soon to be Fiji Airways – that we will own, not lease, a wide bodied aircraft”, he said.
“Only a few years ago, this day would have seemed impossible. At that time, the future looked very uncertain and the thought of buying three new, state–of-the-art aircraft was inconceivable,” the Prime Minister added. “But thanks to the reforms that were undertaken and the incredibly hard work of the entire team at Air Pacific, we are here today to witness a new chapter in our national airline’s history.”
The Prime Minister was accompanied in Toulouse, France by senior officials from Air Pacific. The Fijian delegation examined the progress being made on Fiji Airways first A330 and took a guided tour of the interior. They received a full briefing on the features of the aircraft, which was designed and manufactured exclusively for Fiji’s Airways.
The Fijian masi art – designed for Air Pacific by local masi artist Makereta Matemosi – not only appears on the exterior, but has also been incorporated into the design of the cabins, including the seat fabric.
The Prime Minister said that he would like to once again pay special tribute to Ms Matemosi for creating something that all Fijians can be proud of.
“Ms Matemosi’s design will represent Fiji as our new jets land at airports around the Asia-Pacific,” the Prime Minister said.
This first A330 will arrive in Nadi on March 19th. The second and third will arrive in May and November respectively. The airline will officially become ‘Fiji Airways’ in June this year.