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Air Pacific reveals today its new Fiji Airways brand

Air Pacific (Nadi, Fiji) today (August 17) revealed the new brandmark that will be used to represent the carrier when it relaunches as Fiji Airways in 2013.

According to the airline, “the unveiling of the airline’s new brandmark is the latest milestone in a series of initiatives that are part of Air Pacific’s restructuring and rebranding, which will start its final phase in early 2013 when the airline returns to its 1951 name of Fiji Airways and welcomes the first of three brand-new A330s.”

At the heart of the new ‘Fiji Airways’ brandmark is a striking new Masi symbol that epitomises Fiji and enhances the new name of Fiji’s national carrier – Fiji’s flying ambassador to the world. Designed by a renowned local Fijian Masi artist, the new symbol in the brandmark brings Fiji’s culture and heritage to life by linking the name Fiji Airways with this highly respected and traditional art form that has been a part of Fijian culture for several centuries. To create this distinctive Fijian symbol, the airline carefully selected celebrated local Fijian Masi artist, Makereta Matemosi, who has been practicing this uniquely Fijian art for 32 years – to create a unique Masi design for Fiji Airways. At the center of the new Masi symbol is a distinctive Teteva motif, which symbolises the airline, its values, and the spirit of Fiji. As an integral part of the new ‘Fiji Airways’ brand, this Teteva was designed to represent spirituality, consideration of others, Fijian hospitality, and the connection that Fiji Airways will offer between Fiji’s 333 islands and the rest of the world.

“It was over a year ago that we started work on this ambitious project to re-brand our airline and design a new brandmark for the new ‘Fiji Airways’. While the new name had a lot of history associated with it, we decided that we wanted a new and distinctly Fijian symbol and brandmark that would help us best represent the country while also ensuring our planes stand out at some of the world’s busiest international airports. In short, we wanted a flying billboard for Fiji and its stunning 333 islands in the South Pacific”, said David Pflieger, Air Pacific’s CEO and Managing Director.

“Fiji is universally well known for its stunning natural beauty and amazing people, but what is not so well known is its centuries-old culture that offers visitors an opportunity to not only unplug from their hectic day-to-day lives but lose themselves in the tranquillity of Fiji’s South Pacific authenticity. As Fiji’s national airline, we think the distinctive Masi symbol, the brandmark and their colour tones are a perfect fit with Fiji’s heritage, and the beauty and warmth of the Fijian people and the islands themselves,” Mr. Pflieger added. According to the artist, the new Masi design captures all that is unique about the airline and the Fijian experience.

Fijian Masi is said to contain the spirit of the land it comes from, the tree it was once part of, and the essence of the individuals who made it. In this same way, the new Fiji Airways symbol will embody the strong cultural values of Fiji which the airline it is proud and honored to represent.

Fijian Masi is known as the ‘cloth of the gods’ and is used in significant life stages and formal ceremonies. It is a beautiful fibrous cloth made from the inner bark of the masi tree (also known as the mulberry tree) featuring finely detailed, skillfully stencilled geometric motifs (masikesa), carefully printed from the outer edges of the cloth into the centre heart of the cloth.

The two most traditional pigments used in Fijian masi dyes are soot, which creates a rich black colouring, and a mineral-rich clay called Umea, which creates a red-brown colouring. The motifs are traditionally then cut by hand from a banana leaf using a small knife. Once the dyes and motifs are ready, the printing begins by repeatedly pressing inked fingers through the stencil onto the masi cloth.

Traditional Masi embodies the spirit of Fijian culture. The motifs on traditional Masi have distinct meanings for the Fijian people and can be read and understood as a symbolic story.

Today’s announcement marks another important milestone in the continued turnaround of Fiji’s national carrier, an effort that has already been marked by an aircraft order for new Airbus A330 aircraft, selection of new Rolls-Royce’s Trent 700 engines, the addition of a new Boeing 737-800, increased flights between Fiji and Sydney, and many other improvements to the airline’s world-renowned product and services.

According to the airline, the final phase of Air Pacific’s revitalization and modernization will begin with the delivery of the airline’s new fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft which arrive in Fiji in March, May, and November of 2013. All three of the planes will arrive with the airline’s new brand identity and color scheme which will be fully revealed on October 10, 2012 in conjunction with Fiji Day the celebration of Fiji’s independence day. The full re-branding is due to be complete by the end of 2013, by which time the new Fiji Airways brand will roll out across the marketplace, ticket offices, check-in counters, airport lounge facilities, and the airline’s official website.

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