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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Exclusive: Fiji Airways considers Boeing and Airbus wide-body for fleet upgrade

Carrier is looking at Airbus A350, A330 Neo and Boeing 787s, CEO says

Fiji Airways is in talks with Boeing and Airbus for an order of widebody jets to renew its fleet as it boosts long-haul services. Courtesy Fiji Airways
Fiji Airways is in talks with Boeing and Airbus for an order of widebody jets to renew its fleet as it boosts long-haul services. Courtesy Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways, the first member of a new Oneworld membership programme, is in talks with Boeing and Airbus for an order of wide-body jets to renew its fleet as it expands long-haul services.

The South Pacific airline is weighing an order between A350s, A330 Neos or 787 Dreamliners, Andre Viljoen, chief executive of Fiji Airways, told The National on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association annual meeting in Sydney on Tuesday. The carrier is eyeing at least eight planes and will make a decision by September.

“We have a campaign with Boeing and Airbus for fleet renewal,” Mr Viljoen said. “We’re comparing the two.”

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Fiji Airways would replace its A330s if it opts for the Dreamliners, Mr Viljoen said.

A330 Neo and the larger A350 were designed to take on the Dreamliner.

Fiji Airways partnership with Oneworld will open the doors for the airline to seek stronger relations with some of the alliance members, including joint ventures, adding to its existing codeshares with Qantas, American airlines and Cathay Pacific. It is currently in talks with British Airways for potential co-operation but did not elaborate on the nature of the partnership.

The Nadi-based airline, which will start a direct service to Japan this year, is increasing frequencies on key long-haul routes. It will ramp up its service to Singapore and San Francisco on a seasonal basis and to Apia, Tonga on a permanent basis.

Last year the airline, which carried 1.6 million passengers, generated revenues of $452 million and $38m in net profit.