Boeing Delivers Fiji Airways’ First 737 MAX Airplane

Carrier begins modernization of single-aisle airplane fleet with the first of five 737 MAXs
Fiji Airways will be first airline in the Pacific Islands to fly the more fuel-efficient 737

SEATTLENov. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing [NYSE: BA] delivered the first 737 MAX for Fiji Airways, which plans to use the fuel-efficient, longer-range version of the popular 737 jet to expand and modernize its single-aisle fleet.

“We are thrilled to take delivery of our very first 737 MAX 8, named Island of Kadavu,” said Andre Viljoen, Managing Director and CEO of Fiji Airways. “The introduction of the 737 MAX is the beginning of a new chapter for Fiji Airways and we look forward to taking advantage of the airplane’s superior performance and economics. These new airplanes will enable us to offer a world-class customer experience through the new Boeing Sky Interior cabins with in-seat entertainment for all guests.”

Fiji Airways plans to take delivery of five MAX 8 airplanes, which will build on the success of its fleet of Next-Generations 737s. The MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, and other airframe enhancements to improve performance and reduce operating costs.

Compared to the previous 737 model, the MAX 8 can fly 600 nautical miles farther, while providing 14 percent better fuel efficiency. The MAX 8 can seat up to 178 passengers in a standard two-class configuration and fly 3,550 nautical miles (6,570 kilometers).

“We are delighted to welcome Fiji Airways to the MAX family of operators and we are thrilled they will be the first 737 MAX operator in the Pacific Islands,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company. “We are honored by their continued partnership and confidence in Boeing products. The market-leading efficiency of the MAX will pay immediate dividends for Fiji Airways and will help them improve their operation and route network.”

Based at Nadi International Airport, Fiji Airways serves 13 countries and 31 destinations/cities including FijiAustraliaNew ZealandSamoaTongaTuvaluKiribatiVanuatu and Solomon Islands (Oceania), the United StatesHong KongJapan and Singapore. It also has an extended network of 108 international destinations through its codeshare partners.

In addition to modernizing its fleet, Fiji Airways will use Boeing Global Services to enhance its operations. These services include Airplane Health Management, which generates real-time, predictive service alerts, and Software Distribution Tools, which empowers airlines to securely manage digital ground-based data and efficiently manage software parts.

The 737 MAX family is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating about 4,800 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide. Boeing has delivered more than 200 737 MAX airplanes since May 2017. For more information and feature content, visit www.boeing.com/commercial/737max.

Contact:

Shane Hussein
General Manager Corporate Communications
Fiji Airways
+679 6737 425 / +679 9906 164
shane.hussein@fijiairways.com

Kevin Yoo
International Sales Communications
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
+1 206 766 2906
kevin.k.yoo@boeing.com

SOURCE: Boeing Website

Fiji Airways switches Nadi-San Francisco from seasonal to year round

A Fiji Airways Airbus A330-200. (Airbus)

 

Fiji Airways is boosting capacity to San Francisco in response to demand.

The airline launched nonstop flights between Nadi and San Francisco in June 2016, initially as a twice-weekly seasonal service with Airbus A330 equipment that operated in the months of June, July, August, December 2016 and January 2017.

It will now serve San Francisco all year with two flights a week, increasing to three flights a week during peak periods.

Fiji Airways chief executive Andre Viljoen said the airline was buoyed by the growing demand from business, leisure and visiting friends and family travellers on its San Francisco flights.

“Our expansion out of SFO represents our position as the premier carrier for Fiji and the South Pacific, as well as being a gateway carrier to Australia and New Zealand,” Viljoen said in a statement.

San Francisco is Fiji Airways’ second destination in North America alongside its year-round daily offering to Los Angeles.

The airline has a codeshare agreement with American Airlines for destinations beyond Los Angeles and San Francisco both in the United States and Europe.

Fiji Airways has also been bulking up its Australian and New Zealand network to support its flights to North America.

The airline is launching nonstop Adelaide-Nadi service with Boeing 737-800s from June, offering South Australians an alternative one-stop option for travel to the United States. It has also added extra flights from Christchurch to its Nadi hub.

While Fiji Airways is majority government owned, Qantas holds 46 per cent of the airline, while Air New Zealand has about two per cent. The governments of Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa and Nauru also each have a small stake in the airline formerly known as Air Pacific.

 

Source : Australian Aviation

Fiji Airways heading to Adelaide

Fiji Airways plans to operate Boeing 737-800s to Adelaide. (Fiji Airways)

South Australians will have a new one-stop option to the United States from June 2017 when Fiji Airways begins twice weekly flights between Nadi and Adelaide.

The route will be flown using Boeing 737-800s, with the inaugural service due to take off on June 30 2017, Fiji Airways said in a statement on Wednesday.

In addition to being the only airline offering nonstop flights between Adelaide and Nadi, Fiji Airways is also hoping the new route will help support its year-round flights to Los Angeles and seasonal schedule to San Francisco.

“We’re delighted to launch our fourth Australian route, which will allow us to bring our unique Fijian hospitality to South Australia and will provide an alternative route to the United States via Nadi,” Fiji Airways chief executive Andre Viljoen said.

While Adelaide will be served with 737-800s configured with eight business and 156 economy class seats for a total of 164, Fiji Airways operates to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney with a mixture of 737-800 and Airbus A330 equipment.

Currently, South Australians heading to the United States can fly one-stop through Australia’s east coast capitals, Auckland or Asian points such as Hong Kong.

Adelaide Airport managing director Mark Young said he believed the route would be well supported.

“Fiji has always been a hugely popular destination with South Australian travellers, and Fiji Airways’ new link will make it even more attractive,” Young said.

“South Australia’s strong Fijian community will also benefit from a direct link with Nadi bringing them closer to their family and friends.”

While Fiji Airways is majority government owned, Qantas holds 46 per cent of the airline, while Air New Zealand has about two per cent. The governments of Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa and Nauru also each have a small stake in the airline formerly known as Air Pacific.

The upcoming Nadi flights comes on top of new international service to Adelaide in 2016 from Qatar Airways (Doha) and China Southern (Guangzhou).

Flight Number/Routing
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival

FJ961 Nadi-Adelaide

Monday, Friday

1630

2030

FJ960 Adelaide-Nadi

Monday, Friday

2200

0535+1

 

Australian Aviation

Fiji Airways orders five Boeing 737 MAX 8s

An artist's impression of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Fiji Airways livery. (Fiji Airways/Boeing)

Boeing has secured a third 737 MAX customer in Oceania with Fiji Airways ordering five 737 MAX 8s for first delivery in 2018.

The Fijian flag carrier said in a statement on Wednesday the 737 MAX 8 would “replace its existing narrow-body fleet”.  Currently, Fiji Airways has five 737s in its fleet, comprising one 737-700 and four 737-800s, that are used on short- and medium-haul routes to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Fiji Airways chief executive Andre Viljoen said the selection of the new generation Boeing narrowbodies came after an “extremely exhaustive procurement and selection process”.

Further, Viljoen said the aircraft would be delivered via a 12-year sale and leaseback financing arrangement as part of a package deal with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), Boeing and engine manufacturer CFM International.

“This is a major capital decision that had to be done correctly so we followed a rigorous, thorough and transparent process to find the right solution,” Viljoen said in a statement.

“As a consequence of the fierce competition between the rival bidders and the extensive process followed by Fiji Airways, we have achieved a ground-breaking package deal that represents excellent value for our shareholders, customers and stakeholders.”

Fiji Airways joins Virgin Australia and Air Niugini from the region as a MAX customer.

Virgin Australia is due to receive the first of 40 MAX aircraft in 2018, while Air Niugini is expected to take delivery of four MAX aircraft from 2020.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes senior vice-president for Asia Pacific & India sales Dinesh Keskar said: “Boeing is honoured that Fiji Airways has selected the 737 MAX for its fleet renewal plan and we look forward to welcoming Fiji Airways as our newest 737 MAX customer.”

“The 737 MAX, with its superior economics and capability, is the ideal airplane for Fiji Airways, allowing them to expand into new markets throughout Oceania and Southeast Asia.”

Viljoen said the MAX’s operating economics and efficiency would assist the airline in securing a four-star rating from Skytrax.

“Our team will now work on the cabin designs and fit-outs to Fiji Airways specifications,” Viljoen said.

“With 170 seats, we will continue with our existing two-class configuration (business and economy) and be able to offer an extremely competitive short- and medium-haul product.”

The 737 MAX program, which is currently in the flight test phase, has booked 3,339 orders through October 2016, according to the Boeing website. The figure does not include the Fiji Airways order, which will be added to the total once finalised.

Boeing said in May 2016 first delivery was forecast to take place in the first half of 2017.

The MAX competes with the Airbus A320neo Family, which has been flying with a number of airlines since January 2016. The Airbus website shows it has received 4,760 orders for the neo.

Qantas is expected to run a competition between the 737 MAX and A320neo at some future point for the replacement of its existing 737-800s.

 

Australioan Aviation

Fiji Airways hands down record profit and looks towards tourism recovery after Tropical Cyclone Winston

Fiji Airways took delivery of its first Airbus A330-200 in 2013. (Airbus)

New Fiji Airways chief executive Andre Viljoen says 2016 will be a year of challenges and opportunities as the airline grows its international network and deals with the fallout from Tropical Cyclone Winston after handing down a record profit result.

The airline group, which covers Fiji Airways, Fiji Link and other subsidiaries, reported profit before tax of $FJ70.2 million for the 12 months to December 31 2015, up 15.5 per cent from $FJ60.8 million in the prior corresponding period.

It was the highest full year result in the company’s history.

Revenue rose 6.3 per cent to $FJ815.3 million, Fiji Airways said in a statement on Tuesday.

Fiji Airways recently commenced flights to Singapore while new services to San Francisco and Vava’u in Tonga were due to begin in the period ahead, which will increase the number of international destinations to 50, including those served via its codeshare partners. In January, the airline picked up its first Airbus A330-300, joining three A330-200s already in the fleet.

Viljoen said the airline was benefitting from lower fuel prices. However, the gains had been offset currency movements against the US dollar.

To that end, the new chief executive stressed the importance of maintaining a focus on costs and working with local authorities to support tourism after the recent devastation due to Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“Our results are also sustainable, provided that market demand recovers from recent national disasters and is not merely driven from lower than anticipated fuel prices,” Viljoen said in a statement.

“There will undoubtedly be challenges, as Tropical Cyclone Winston has an impact on our forward bookings. But a number of initiatives are underway with the Tourism Action Group (TAG) to address these challenges.

“The fuel price relief will not last, so we intend to maintain our cost-management discipline and focus.”

Viljoen was delivering his first set of financial results since he started work as Fiji Airways chief executive in October 2015. He replaced Stefan Pichler, who left to become Airberlin’s chief executive.

While Fiji Airways is majority government owned, Qantas holds 46 per cent of the airline, while Air New Zealand has about two per cent. The governments of Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa and Nauru also each have a small stake in the airline formerly known as Air Pacific.

 

Australian Aviation

Fiji Airways takes delivery of first A330-300

PHB_6720

Fiji Airways has taken delivery of its first A330-300 with the new Airbus widebody twin, named Island of Rotuma, touching down at Nadi on December 29.

The A330-300 is configured to seat 289 passengers in economy and 24 in business class and joins Fiji Airways’ existing fleet of three A330-200s.

The airline says the new Airbus will enter service in early January and will be deployed “largely” on flights to Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

Acquisition of the fourth A330 was announced last January.

 

Australian Aviation

Fiji Airways posts FJ$17.5 million first half profit

Fiji Airways took delivery of its first Airbus A330-200 in 2013. (Airbus)

Fiji Airways has posted a double-digit increase in first half profit despite pressure on its Australian routes.

The airline group, which covers Fiji Airways, Fiji Link and other subsidiaries, reported operating profit of FJ$17.5 million for the six months to June 30 2015, up 16.5 per cent from FJ$15.4 million in the prior corresponding period and the highest half-year result in the company’s history.

Fiji Airways acting chief executive David Bowden said the performance of the international network – the airline flies to Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, United States and Hong Kong from its Nadi hub – had held up well despite some difficulties its largest market, Australia.

“The growth of our Hong Kong service to China clearly shows the diversity and resilience within the group to deliver strong results despite economic and market pressures within our core Australian market,” Bowden said in a statement.

“Our results are also sustainable with any fuel price upsides realised being largely off-set by foreign currency exposures on aircraft US dollar-based loans and AUD dollar revenue streams, exceptional costs and investments in building long term capability. These exceptional costs related to the A330 damaged in Nadi on 16th May 2015.”

The airline added two new routes in the first half of calendar 2015, launching service between Nadi and Wellington and as well as starting the Nuku’alofa-Vava’u route. Overall passenger numbers rose 6.7 per cent in the first half.

And international growth is set to continue when the airline picks up a fourth Airbus A330 in December that will be used to launch a new long-haul route.

Bowden said the airline would be keeping a close watch on currency movements and the price of fuel during the second half.

“It is important to acknowledge the exceptional performance contributed by all our staff but we must be mindful that the second half of the year will be challenging if we are to meet our expectations for the full financial year,” Bowden said.

“However, the team is definitely up to the task.”

Meanwhile, Bowden said Fiji Link’s regional and domestic network performed in line with its five-year plan.

Qantas, which places its QF airline code on Fiji Airways’ flights between Australia and Fiji, owns 46 per cent of the airline.

Fiji Airways’ new chief executive Andre Viljoen, who was appointed in June after running Air Mauritius since 2010, will start with the airline in October.

 

Australian Aviation

Fiji Airways hands out dividend payment

A Fiji Airways Airbus A330-200. (Airbus)
A Fiji Airways Airbus A330-200. (Airbus)

Fiji Airways has officially paid out its first dividend in seven years.

The airline’s chairman Nalin Patel handed over a cheque for FJD$2.5 million (A$1.6 million) to Fiji Attorney-General and Minister for Aviation the Hon Aiyaz Saved-Khaiyum on Thursday.

In addition to the Fijian government’s 51 per cent majority ownership, Qantas holds 46 per cent of the airline and Air New Zealand has about two per cent. The governments of Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa and Nauru also each have a small stake in Fiji Airways.

Qantas, which codeshares on Fiji Airways’ flights from Australia to Fiji, will receive a FJD$2.3 million (A$1.5 million) dividend payment.

Fiji Airways acting chief executive David Bowden said the return of a dividend to shareholders highlighted the success of the airline’s five-year plan, which was established in December 2013.

“Our financial performance provides us with the foundation to continue to build the business over the remainder of the five year plan, but there’s no room for complacency,” Bowden said in a statement.

“We must continue to make long-term financial decisions that are sustainable and in the best interests of the airline. On this basis, we look forward to sharing more of our success with our staff and shareholders at the conclusion of the current 2015 financial year.”

Fiji Airways announced a dividend of 10 Fijian cents a share in February – after posting a FJD$55.6 million net profit after tax for calendar 2014 – representing a total dividend payout of about FJD$5 million. The company has also paid bonuses to staff and management.

 

Australian Aviation

Fiji Airways appoints new CEO

A Fiji Airways Airbus A330-200. (Airbus)
A Fiji Airways Airbus A330-200. (Airbus)

Current Air Mauritius chief executive Andre Viljoen has been appointed as the new boss of Fiji Airways.

Viljoen, who has been in charge at Air Mauritius since 2010 and has three decades’ experience in the airline and tourism industries, will commence in his new role by October 2015, Fiji Airways said in a statement on Tuesday.

“I am very excited to be joining Fiji Airways, the leading airline in the South Pacific, and will continue to build on its strong brand and lead its dedicated team to even greater heights,” Viljoen said.

The Fiji government, which is the airline’s major shareholder, welcomed the appointment of a new chief executive to replace Stefan Pichler, who left to become Airberlin’s chief executive in February.

“Andre has big shoes to fill in replacing Stefan Pichler – who produced a record financial result for Fiji Airways last year – but this is an outstanding choice and we look forward, under his leadership, to expanding the airline’s footprint into other international hubs,” Fiji Attorney-General and Minister for Public Enterprises Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said.

 

Australian Aviation

Fiji Airways flags increased service to Australia and New Zealand as fifth 737 joins fleet

Fiji Airways's newest addition to its fleet, a Boeing 737-800 arrives at Nadi Airport. (Fiji Airways)
Fiji Airways’s newest addition to its fleet, a Boeing 737-800 arrives at Nadi Airport. (Fiji Airways)

Fiji Airways plans to boost frequencies to Australia and New Zealand after taking delivery a fifth Boeing 737 this week.

The leased 737, named Island of Ovalau and with registration DQ-FJN, landed at Nadi on Wednesday from the Netherlands, Fiji Airways said in a statement.

Fiji Airways chairman Nalin Patel said the arrival of the Boeing narrowbody, which is on lease from AerCap and previously flew with Air Berlin, would help strengthen the airline’s position as the aviation leader in the Pacific.

“This new aircraft comes at an important time for us,” Patel said.

“It will contribute straight-away to our network, as we prepare to start direct services between Wellington and Nadi from June 25th on Thursdays and Sundays all year around.

“This aircraft will also allow us to add an extra service from Christchurch, also making that a twice-weekly connection to Fiji all year round as well.

“With this addition to our fleet we become larger and stronger.”

The airline also planned to add more daylight flights to Brisbane and boost service to Sydney and Auckland.

The arrival of DQ-FJN, which is configured with eight business and 172 economy class seats, lifts Fiji Airways’ fleet to eight aircraft comprising four Boeing 737-800s, one 737-700 and three Airbus A330-200 widebodies.

The airline said in January it would also take delivery of an Airbus A330-300 in December.

 

Austalian Aviation