Tourism market of the month – Fiji

Located in the South Pacific, the Republic of Fiji has one main carrier, Fiji Airways, along with regional subsidiary Fiji Link, which operate international and domestic services from Nadi International Airport, the main international gateway to the islands of Fiji. The international airports at Nadi and Suva-Nausori are also the main domestic hubs. Many other small islands also have airstrips. The aviation regulatory authority in the Fiji Islands is the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF), which regulates all aspects of civil aviation including air navigation, operators, technicians, engineers, cargo and pilots. The Fiji Department of Civil Aviation, under the Ministry of Transport, is responsible for civil aviation policy to ensure efficiency, viability, safety and security of Fijian aviation.

Airlines

Airports

National carrier – Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways is the national carrier of the Republic of Fiji and is majority-owned by Fiji’s National Provident Fund. Based at Nadi International Airport, Fiji Airways provides a network of domestic and international services that spans the Pacific, North America, Asia, New Zealand and Australia. The carrier operates a mixed fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

Fiji annual tourism data

Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and Fiji reports

Fiji annual seat capacity

Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG

*The values for this year at least partly predictive up to 6 months from 26-Jun-2017 and may be subject to change.

Fiji departing seats by country w/b 26-Jun2017

Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG

Fiji seats by Airline w/b 26-Jun-2017

Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG

Recent related news:

CAPA – Centre for Aviation, in a report entitled: ‘Fiji Airways Part 2: second phase of long haul network expansion to include China and Japan’, stated, 22-Jun-2017:

  • Fiji Airways aims to launch services to China and mainland Japan as part of the expansion of its long haul network, driven by the delivery of additional widebody aircraft. The airline is hoping Fiji’s air services agreement with China, which currently designates Beijing as the sole gateway airport to mainland China, expands to enable it to serve other cities in the country, although it is not expected to challenge the three frequencies per week restriction to avoid the possibility of China based carriers expanding their own Fiji-China services. Although no China based carrier operate nonstop services to Fiji at present it is likely they will enter the market in the next few years. Fiji Airways is also aiming to act on Fiji’s recent surge in popularity as a tourist destination for Japan nationals and the current lack of nonstop scheduled services between Japan and Fiji.
  • Going forward it is essential for Fiji Airways to maintain its niche and avoid competing directly with large airlines as much as possible. Over the past few years the carrier has successfully limited its exposure to competition from much larger and stronger airlines based in Australia and New Zealand by expanding its network to underserved long haul markets in the US and North Asia. It doubled the size of its long haul network in 2016 with the launch of seasonal Fiji-San Francisco and Fiji-Singapore services following the delivery of an A330-200, its fourth widebody aircraft. The carrier’s Fiji-San Francisco service proved popular enough to be upgraded to year round status effective Nov-2017, with hopes to eventually increase frequency to daily. Meanwhile, Fiji Airways’ Australia passenger traffic was relatively flat between 2013 and 2016.

 

Fiji Bureau of Statistics released provisional visitor arrivals for May-2017 showing record numbers as follows (Fiji Times, 22-Jun-2017):

  • A total of 64,367 visitors arrived in Fiji, a 6.6% year-on-year increase;
  • 48,074 visitors came to Fiji for holiday purposes, accounting for 74.7% of the total arrivals;
  • New Zealand had the highest increase, with 24.8%.

 

Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FHTA) believes there is a need for more incentives from the government to encourage investment for both new and existing hoteliers to increase room numbers and add further value to their properties (Fiji Times, 20-Jun-2017). FHTA CEO Fantasha Lockington stated “the lack of incentives provided to hoteliers made it difficult for them to fund improvements and extensions. Prior to 2016 there were investment incentives that made it more affordable for existing hotels to improve their product offering through the Short Life Investment Programme, which allowed accelerated depreciation of 55% of the capital cost of the project and duty concessions for imported items to be used in the hotel.” This incentive was reduced to 25% in 2016 and eliminated in 2017.

 

Fiji Airways launched (01-Jun-2017) nonstop year round Nadi-San Francisco service, together with a frequency increase from twice to three times weekly during the high season from June to August and also in December. Fiji Airways MD and CEO Andre Viljoen stated: “Our expansion out of San Francisco 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”. San Francisco International Airport director Ivar C Satero stated “We are thrilled that Fiji Airways has chosen San Francisco for expanded year round service. This move validates the strong market for nonstop flights between San Francisco and Fiji”.

 

Qantas provided (29-May-2017) a network update, covering additional and expanded codeshare arrangements with Fiji Airways. Qantas will add its code to Fiji Airways’ twice weekly Adelaide-Nadi service, which commences on 30-Jun-2017. This adds to Qantas’ existing codeshare arrangements on Fiji Airways services between Nadi, Suva and destinations in Australia, New Zealand and the US. Separately, Fiji Airways will add its code to Qantas service between Singapore and Perth.