Fiji Airways | World Class Multi Award Winning Airline

FJ
FIji-Airways Fiji Airways World Class Multi Award Winning Airline

Why choose Fiji Airways? – Fiji National Carrier Fiji Airways has a proud and rich tradition of creating unforgettable memories for its customers, providing world-renowned Fijian hospitality the moment you step onboard our fleet. With a proud past and a bright future, Fiji Airways is the symbol of the whole nation and is passionate to be the best.  For an airline that was started by an acclaimed air navigator, inventor, airline manager, plantation baron, and legislator, Fiji Airways has grown into Fiji’s proud flag carrier. From flying De Havilland Dragon Rapides in those days to the new Airbus 330-200 jets…

Table of Contents

Corporate Social Responsibility


Corporate Social Responsibility Fiji Airways scaled
Left Fiji Airways staff and family members during mangrove planting at Saweni Beach in Lautoka. Right Fiji Airways yesterday launched its environmental project called, Every Takeoff, one tree at Blackrock Army Camp in Votualevu Nadi Picture Fiji Times.

Fiji Airways over the last 20 years has taken its corporate social responsibility very seriously, working alongside established environmental institutions, and governmental agencies to reduce or mitigate any environmental impacts caused by operating a world-class airline. The most recent two projects were:

Every Take off. One Tree Project Fiji – Airways working with the Fijian Department of Forestry undertook the ‘Every Take-Off…One Tree project, where the airline planted a tree for every international take-off on its network. Fiji Airways through this initiative has planted over 50,000 trees in Fiji, the overwhelming majority of these have been mangrove trees – the unsung heroes of coastline protection. They are critically important in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Onboard Service Changes for Conservation – Fiji Airways instituted an on-board program that will remove nearly two tonnes of plastics from our aircraft annually, and saves half a million litres of water every year, by moving to more environmentally friendly on-board products. This includes replacing plastic meal tray sets with environmentally friendly packaging, and eliminating the need to wash trays and rotatable items. Items previously wrapped individually are now bulk-packed, drastically reducing the need for large amounts of single-use plastics. Amenity kits now use sustainable paper and wood-based packaging and products, further reducing the use of plastics onboard.

Fiji Airways Past and Present Fleet of Aircraft


Fiji Airways flights are available on a modern fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft | Image: Supplied
Fiji Airways flights are available on a modern fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft | Image: Supplied

Fiji Airways flights are available on a modern fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft, including the brand new 334-seat Airbus A350-900 to the streamlined Boeing 737-800. Economy Class is headlined by the hospitality of a world-renowned warm friendly cabin crew in an elegant and relaxed cabin so you’ll feel right at home, with Business Class offering the discerning traveler a unique and exclusive class of travel. Full Seating Details.

Fiji Airways has been the most connected airline in the region throughout its history, linking to more Pacific Island countries than any other carrier. It flies directly to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and regionally to Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and Tuvalu. Its wider network through its Oneworld and bilateral partner airlines increases the airline’s reach to 108 destinations worldwide.

AircraftTotalIntroduced – Retired
Airbus A330-20022018 – 2021
ATR 42-50022006 – 2007
Boeing 747-40022003 – 2013
Boeing 737-70011998 – 2020
Boeing 747-200B41996 – 2003
Boeing 747-200B11996 – 1996
Boeing 737-30011995 – 1999
Boeing 767-300ER11994 – 2012
Boeing 737-50011992 – 1999
Boeing 767-20011990 – 1994
Boeing 747-10011988 – 1989
ATR 42-30041988 – 1994
Boeing 747-200B31985 – 1994
Fokker F-2711984 – 1984
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter11984 – 1988
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-3011983 – 1985
Boeing 737-20011981 – 1990
Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante41979 – 1987
Britten-Norman Trislander41974 – 1983
BAC One-Eleven31972 – 1984
Grumman G-73 Mallard11969 – 1971
Hawker Siddeley HS 74841967 – 1986
Beechcraft Travel Air31967 – 1972
Douglas C-47 Skytrain61963 – 1972
de Havilland Heron71959 – 1975
de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver21954 – 1963
de Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover71954 – 1968
de Havilland Dragon Rapide41951 – 1962
Table: Fiji Airways Historic Timeline Aircraft

Significant Milestones


Captain Seini Cornish with Fiji Airways MDCEO Andre Viljoen
Captain Seini Cornish with Fiji Airways MDCEO Andre Viljoen | Image: Supplied

November 2021 | Fiji Airways has announced the promotion of its first-ever female to command a widebody aircraft. Captain Seini Koroitamana Cornish has progressed as a Fiji Airways A330 aircraft Captain, becoming the first female in the National Airline’s 70-year history to do so.

October 2021 | Fiji Airways Aviation Academy facility opened after the initial groundbreaking in late 2017, the facility houses the internationally recognized A330 simulator, helping train pilots within Fiji.

2010s – Rebranding to its former name Fiji Airways


Unveiling our Fiji Airways cabin crew uniforms, here with Phillippa Steele and designer Alexandra Poenaru-Philp | Image: Supplied
Unveiling our Fiji Airways cabin crew uniforms, here with Phillippa Steele and designer Alexandra Poenaru-Philp | Image: Supplied
Fiji Airways and its A330s New Brand
Fiji Airways and its A330s New Brand | Image: Supplied

2018 | Fiji Link received its fourth brand new Viking DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft at the end of the year Fiji Airways received its first two Boeing B737 MAX 8 aircraft.2019, as part of the airline’s widebody expansion plans, Fiji Airways received two Airbus A350 900

2017 | In October, Fiji Airways started offering the Resort Check-In service at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on Denarau Island.

2015 | In May, Fiji Airways took delivery of a fifth Boeing 737-800.

2014 | In March, Fiji Airways received its first Airbus A330 ‘The Island of Taveuni’Pacific Sun was rebranded to Fiji Link in June 2014.  In June and November, Fiji Airways received ATR 72-600 and ATR 42-600. The ATR fleet is used on larger domestic routes and some international routes to neighboring island groups while the Twin Otter fleet is used in smaller domestic markets.

The complete rebranding process of the Fijian National Airline was a multiple-year process, commencing in 2012 with the announcement from the CEO David Pfieger in May of that year that the airline would be returning to its former name Fiji Airways, and officially relaunching itself worldwide in the year 2013-14, simultaneously retiring its Air’Pacific Brand.

With the new fleet of aircraft on order, Fiji Airways pooled local and international specialists in a variety of unique fields, to design airplane liveries, uniforms, and insignia that would remain true to the airline’s brandmark and cultural identity.  The following video details the process taken by Makereta Matemosi’s, a local artist who has specialized in the art of Masi artwork, she carefully designed individual pieces of masi, each depicting the qualities and pride all the Fijians have in our national airline and how it symbolizes Fiji as a whole.

The uniforms prominently feature these masi motifs, the Qalitoka symbolises the unity of people to complete a task, the Tama symbolising friendly service, and Droe, which means clear blue skies and cool breeze on beaches.

The striking new uniforms stylized to the Fijian attire of Sulu Jaba and Bula wear, reflect vibrant aqua colours, to present a balance with the new Fiji Airways’ cabin interiors featuring sophisticated, earthy tones of Fiji. The aqua contrasts with the colour brown which now forms a key part of the airline’s brandmark and identity.  video

“The aqua reflects the wonderful colours of Fiji, from clear blue skies to the oceans and the brown signifies respect.”

2012 | Rebranding Announcement – In May 2012, MD/CEO David Pflieger announced that the airline would be returning to its former name Fiji Airways to reinforce its role as the national airline of Fiji.

2000’s


Pacific Sun
Pacific Sun | Image: Supplied

2009 | The commencement of a twice-weekly service to Hong Kong.

2007 | In January, Air Pacific acquired Sun Air and established its regional subsidiary airline trading as Pacific Sun. Operations began with eight aircraft, two ATR 42-500 aircraft, three BN2 Islanders, and three DHC-6 Twin Otters.

1980’s & 1990’s


Air Pacific's first Boing 737 stop over Port Villa on route to Nadi early 1980's
Air Pacific’s first Boing 737 stopped over Port Villa on route to Nadi early 1980s | Image: Supplied

1998 | Qantas raised its equity to 46 percent, with the Fijian government owning 52% of the airline, and the governments of several Pacific island nations the remainder.

1983 | The airline started flights to the US with a route to Honolulu.

1980s |  Air Pacific pioneered the concept of codeshare agreements in conjunction with Qantas. is a business arrangement, common in the aviation industry, in which two or more airlines publish and market the same flight under their own airline designator and flight number as part of their published timetable or schedule.

1960’s & 1970’s


Air Pacific BAC1-11 resting in the hanger after completing its delivery flight. (Photo - National Archives of Fiji)
Air Pacific BAC1-11 resting in the hanger after completing its delivery flight. (Photo – National Archives of Fiji)

1974 | As tourism became the nation’s leading industry making the airline even more critical to the Fijian economy, the government of Fiji acquired a controlling interest in Air Pacific.

1973 | Air Pacific made its first international flight to Brisbane, Australia.

1972 | The Fleet changed to Aerospace BAC1-11s and HS748.

1971 | The name changed to “Air Pacific.”

1970 | After Fiji gained independence from Great Britain in 1970, the new national government began buying shares, and the airline was renamed Air Pacific to reflect its regional presence. The government of Fiji acquired a controlling interest in Air Pacific.

1960s | During the 1960s, the shareholders in Fiji Airways diversified with the majority being owned by TEAL (now operating as Air New Zealand), British Overseas Airways Corporation (now operating as British Airways), and governments of smaller South Pacific nations Tonga, Western Samoa, Nauru, Kiribati, and the Solomon Islands each securing an interest.

1950’s


De Havilland Dragon Rapide
De Havilland Dragon Rapide | Image: Supplied

1958 | Harold George Gatty passed away on the 30th of August 1957, in the same year Qantas acquired Fiji Airways.

1951 First Commercial Flight – On 1st September 1951, a 7-seater De Havilland Dragon Rapide (a short-haul biplane airliner developed and produced by the British aircraft company of the same name ‘de Havilland’ in the year 1930, although constructed out of only plywood, the aircraft proved to be an economical and durable craft, procuring many foreign sales), took off from Fiji’s Nausori Airport to Drasa Airport near Lautoka, on the west coast of the main island, This first commercial flight saw the birth of what today is a truly international, Fijian airline. Video – Historic Flight Foundation De Havilland Dragon Rapide restored and flight

1940’s


Portrait of Harold Gatty (Photo: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution)
Portrait of Harold Gatty (Photo: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution)

1947 | Harold George Gatty (Founder) formed Katafaga Estates.

Harold George Gatty was born to British parents in Campelltown in Tasmania on 5 January 1903 and came to settle in Fiji, soon after the conclusion of World War II, Gatty with his Dutch-born wife returned to the south Pacific region, where he was reinstated as the Pan-American Airways Regional Manager, based in Auckland. He had held this position prior to the war and subsequently managed for several years, before deciding Fiji was his true home. Upon his return, he bought the beautiful Fiji island of Katafanga (pronounced cat’-a-fun-ga), located in Fiji’s remote Northern Lau Group where he turned it into a coconut estate.

Before his Pan-American job, Gatty had made his name in the technical field of air navigation in the United States by designing his revolutionary ground speed and drift indicator in the year 1930.

Top Graphic drawing of Gatty drift meter. Left Yeager and Gatty discussing drift meter - Feb 5 1932. Right Original Gatty Ground Speed And Drift Indicator designed by Harold Gatty and used on the Post-Gatty Round the world flight of 1931
Top Graphic drawing of Gatty drift meter. Left Yeager and Gatty discussing drift meter – Feb 5 1932. Right Original Gatty Ground Speed And Drift Indicator designed by Harold Gatty and used on the Post-Gatty Round the world flight of 1931 | Image: Supplied

Shortly afterward, he was presented with the opportunity to test his invention when Gatty was invited by Canadian pilot Lieutenant Harold Bromley to be his navigator as he attempts to fly across the Pacific, from Honshu, Japan to Tacoma in Washington State, USA in September of the same year.

The black and white picture below captures Harold Gatty and Harold Bromley literally building a take-off runway on a Japanese beach, in preparation for this amazing navigational feat.

Bromley and Gatty beach takeoff 21 October 1930
Bromley and Gatty beach takeoff 21 October 1930 | Image: NEA

Due to fuel tank and technical issues, the duo had to return to Honshu after only reaching 1900 km into the attempt, Gatty through bad weather and thick fog successfully navigated the plane back to the runway in Japan; empowering him with the knowledge and experience for his ensuing 1931 around-the-world flight with Wiley Post.

Top - Wiley Post and Harold Gatty in Boston East Boston Airport 1931. Bottom - Winnie mae diagram
Top – Wiley Post and Harold Gatty in Boston East Boston Airport 1931. Bottom – Winnie mae diagram | Image: Supplied

Wiley Post, a Native American Oil rigger and all-round stuntman piloted the ‘Lockheed Vega’ named the Winnie Mae, with Gatty navigating in the rear(image above), together they successfully set the record for aerial circumnavigation around the world, flying a distance of 15,747 miles (24,903 km) in 8 days, 15 hours, and 51 minutes. the drift indicator designed by Gatty was more accurate and easier to use than earlier drift sights mounted on the outside of the aircraft, becoming the standard design used for civil and military air navigation.

The Duo received an open-top car ticker-tape welcome parade down the main esplanade in New York City, to celebrate their accomplishment, in the video archives below, they have captured the warm welcome and large amounts of shredded paper thrown onto the route from the surrounding buildings, creating a flurry of celebratory paper, followed by a brief interview with the local news network.

Video:  Gatty Parade

Upon returning to Fiji, Gatty submitted a proposal to Fiji’s then Colonial Government to operate the country’s domestic airline and registered it as Katafaga Estates. The first commercial flight was on September 1st, 1951.

Long-serving former chairman of the airline, retired business executive Gerald Barrack paid tribute to Gatty’s vision and the pioneering spirit of men and women like him

“from the days when pilots flew Dragon Rapides and Drovers by the seat of their pants.” Days like the one where passengers boarded the Rapides plane and realized that there was no pilot, so a man wearing a bright bula (floral) shirt volunteered to fly the machine. Little did they realize that the man with the bright shirt was actually Fred Ladd, Gatty’s first Chief Pilot, playing his usual practical jokes!

Video: 70 Years Fiji Airways Since 1951

References

  • [Fiji Airways]. (2021, August 1). FJ70 [Video]. Youtube. Link
  • Internal (2001, January 20). Air Pacific Ltd. Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from Link
  • Staff Member (2001, January 20). History of Fiji Airways. Seat Maestro. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from Link
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