Category Archives: Air Pacific

Air Pacific becomes Fiji Airways today

Air Pacific (2nd) (Nadi, Fiji) today (June 27) as planned, became Fiji Airways (2nd), completing its rebranding.

On June 5 the flag carrier issued this statement:

Air Pacific announced it will change its name and start trading as Fiji Airways on Thursday June 27.

Returning to its 1958 name, the switch-over marks another important milestone in the airline’s turnaround. Customers have already been able to experience a “sneak peak” of our new A330 aircraft with their new state of the art features. June 27 represents the official launch of the Fiji Airways brand with a number of further new brand elements rolled out across Fiji and the international marketplace on this date.

“The official changeover date marks the official end of Air Pacific and the beginning of Fiji Airways. It is exciting that after a 15-month journey, we can now be known as ‘Fiji Airways’ across the globe. The changeover represents an exciting future for the airline that is rooted in our more than 60-year history and service to the people of Fiji”, said Aubrey Swift, the airline’s Acting CEO.

“At the heart of our airline’s new name and brand is the Fiji Airways’ brandmark, a striking new Masi design, created by celebrated local Fijian Masi artist, Makereta Matemosi. The brandmark symbolises the airline’s new identity and epitomises all that Fiji Airways represents. It is authentic, distinctive, and true to the airline’s Fijian roots. Fiji Airways will continue to be the country’s flying ambassador to the world, bringing the renowned Fijian hospitality to people across the globe.”

The changeover underscores the success of the airline’s turnaround plan, which started in 2010 and has culminated in reversing record losses and significantly growing passengers and revenue without increasing the size of the carrier’s fleet.

Schedule, product and service enhancements will be rolled out through the rest of 2013, along with the delivery of the third Fiji Airways A330 (and the retirement of the 747s). Thus, by the end of the year, the turnaround and brand transition will be complete.

Top Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8X2 WL DQ-FJG (msn 29968) is seen at Sydney in the new look.

Fiji Airways: AG Slide Show

Air Pacific: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Graham Weatherby. Boeing 737-7X2 DQ-FJF (msn 28878), repainted in the new livery of Fiji Airways, departs from a wintry Christchurch, New Zealand.

Fiji Airways (2nd) 737-700 WL DQ-FJF (13)(Tko) CHC (GWB)(LRW)

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Air Pacific puts its first Airbus A330 into revenue service today

Air Pacific (2nd) (Fiji) (Nadi) today (April 2) introduced its first Airbus A330 into revenue service under the Fiji Airways brand. The pictured A330-243 F-WWKD (msn 1394) now registered as DQ-FJT, operated flight 411 from Nadi to Auckland, New Zealand. The airline will officially change its name in June.

Air Pacific issued this statement:

Air Pacific (soon to be Fiji Airways in June) operated an inaugural (pre-Fiji Airways) “sneak peek” commercial flight with its first new Airbus A330-220 and new branding to Auckland this morning (Tuesday April 2), reflecting the commitment of Fiji’s national carrier to one of its most important markets–New Zealand.

As Fiji’s flying ambassador, Air Pacific flies tens of thousands of Kiwi holiday-makers and locally based Fijian nationals to the friendly Fiji islands every year.

“New Zealand is an essential part of our global network, and we are excited to be replacing our venerable B747s with new state-of-the art A330 aircraft that come equipped with the latest in passenger comfort and in-flight entertainment features,” said Dave Pflieger, Air Pacific’s Managing Director and CEO.

“With a history spanning more than 60 years, in June, Air Pacific will be returning to its 1951 roots with new ‘Fiji Airways’ branding as well as new service, new product, and new crew uniforms that are authentic, distinctive and true to our friendly Fijian culture and heritage,” he said.

The airline is offering New Zealanders an early preview of just the plane at this point, since the remainder of the new branding and new service model will not be rolled out until June 2013.

The first aircraft, which has been designed exclusively for Fiji’s national carrier, is named after one of Fiji’s 333 beautiful islands, the Island of Taveuni, also known as ‘The Garden Island’ – a nod to the airline’s heritage.

“Our new planes and stunning new branding is already a great source of pride among the Fijian community, in Fiji and here in Auckland.

“Air Pacific punches well above its weight for a relatively small airline. It is one of only seven airlines to operate multiple international routes from New Zealand, and is the only airline that offers a daily business class service from New Zealand to Fiji and on to Los Angeles and Hong Kong.”

“We already pride ourselves on our ability to deliver award-winning world-class service to our guests from New Zealand, Australia, the U.S. and beyond, and we think we will have a truly winning combination when we combine our superb people with fantastic new wide-body aircraft–the first wide-body planes our airline has ever purchased.

As the only airline to offer a truly Fijian experience as soon as guests step on board, we believe our new aircraft will allow everyone to relax and start their vacation before they step foot in beautiful Fiji itself” added Pflieger.

As a full service airline that provides clients with complimentary beverages, snack meal, onboard entertainment and one piece of checked in luggage of up to 23kgs, Air Pacific’s exceptional service is also evident in their daily Business Class product when guests fly from New Zealand to Fiji.

Fiji Airways will be operating daily connections from across 17 domestic New Zealand cities to feed into international flights for Auckland to Nadi. Further, a total of 13 flights a week from New Zealand to Fiji will take place in 2013 (including CHC-NAN, AKL-SUV & AKL-NAN).

Copyright Photo: Eurospot.

Air Pacific: AG Slide Show

Fiji Airways: AG Slide Show

Air Pacific takes delivery of its first Airbus A330-300 in the new Fiji Airways brand

Air Pacific (2nd) (Nadi), Fiji’s national airline, has formally rolled out its soon to be adopted new Fiji Airways identity with the delivery of its first new A330-200 aircraft. The carrier will officially adopt the Fiji Airways brand in June, the new A330 will begin revenue services on April 2. The aircraft was officially accepted by Nick Caine, Air Pacific’s CFO, at Airbus’ delivery center in Toulouse.

The aircraft is the first painted in Fiji Airways’ striking new livery depicting traditional Fijian symbols of welcome, caring and connection of its people to their islands. The livery was designed by celebrated Fijian Masi artist Makereta Matemosi.

The aircraft is the first from an order for three A330-200 placed in 2011 to replace Air Pacific’s Boeing 747-400s and 767s with newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft.

“We are determined to become the airline of choice in the South Pacific. Our distinctive livery conveys the warmth and hospitality of our home. Our passengers will experience superior comfort with our state of the art cabin products once we start commercial operations with the A330 in April, with even better features and products to be rolled out once we become ‘Fiji Airways’ in June. The A330 is the most fuel efficient aircraft in its category and allows us to optimise our network and modernise our fleet to ensure future growth,” said Dave Pflieger, Air Pacific’s Managing Director and CEO.

Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire. Pictured departing from Toulouse, Airbus A330-243 F-WWKD (msn 1394) was handed over to the carrier today as DQ-FJT.

Air Pacific: AG Slide Show

Fiji Airways logo-1

Fiji Airways (2nd): AG Slide Show

Fiji Airways to introduce its first Airbus A330-200 on April 21

Fiji Airways (2nd) (formerly Air Pacific) (Nadi) is planning to introduce its first Airbus A330-200 in its new name and brand on April 21 to both Auckland and Brisbane per Airline Route. The flag carrier is reverting back to its original name. The pictured A330-243 F-WWKD (msn 1394) on a test flight today at Toulouse will become DQ-FJT when it is handed over to the carrier next month. This delivery will also mark the change of the name for the company.

Air Pacific logo-1

Fiji Airways logo-1

In other news, the revitalized airline is losing its CEO who led the turnaround. The company issued this statement:

Air Pacific Chairman Nalin Patel has announced that the airline’s Managing Director and CEO, David H. Pflieger, Jr., has notified the Board of Directors of his decision to leave the airline and return to the United States following the completion of his three year contract on May 1, 2013. Mr. Patel also announced that the Board would immediately begin the recruitment process for the airline’s next Managing Director and CEO.

“Given the exceptional results Dave has delivered, it is with immense gratitude for his extraordinary service that we have reluctantly accepted his decision to relinquish the helm of Air Pacific and return home. At a time when many of the world’s other airlines were struggling, Dave skillfully guided Air Pacific through one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the airline industry. Thanks to his incredible vision, drive, and leadership, Air Pacific is now again profitable and extremely well-positioned for future growth and success,” said Mr. Patel.

“I would like to say ’Vinaka Vakalevu’ or ‘thank you very much’ to our Board, to everyone at Air Pacific, and to the people of Fiji for an incredible three years. Fiji is an amazing country, and I am humbled by and grateful for the once-in-a lifetime experience that my family and I enjoyed and will never forget,” said Mr. Pflieger. “The tremendous accomplishments Air Pacific has realized over the past three years would not have been possible without the foresight of our Chairman, Mr. Patel, the outstanding support of our Board, and the efforts of some of the most talented and dedicated professionals working and flying in the airline industry today – the men and women of Air Pacific,” said Mr. Pflieger. “It has been an honour and a privilege to work with each and every one of them.”

During his three-year tenure at Air Pacific, Mr. Pflieger led the dramatic and highly successful restructuring, re-branding, and revitalization of Fiji’s national airline, highlighted by achievements that include:

• Restoring airline to profitability in just two years–reversing record operating losses of FJ$12 million and FJ$91 million in the two financial years before he arrived, to produce a FJ$16 million profit
• Winning first-ever recognition from Conde Nast Traveler magazine as one of the World’s “Top 5” Small Airlines for two years in a row (2011 and 2012)
• Modernizing the fleet by leading the landmark acquisition and financing of the airline’s first brand-new wide-body aircraft, three A330s, scheduled for delivery in March, May, and November of 2013
• Initiating and leading the complete re-branding, renaming, and restoration of the airline to its 1960s name of ‘Fiji Airways’
• Entering into an extensive code-share agreement with American Airlines
• Implementing the Company’s first-ever profit sharing and quarterly performance incentive plans for front-line employees; and
• Instituting a new and highly robust Corporate Social Responsibility initiative that now includes partnerships with the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (Friend) for education of underprivileged children, the Mamanuca Environmental Society to preserve Fiji’s amazing coral reefs, and a soon to be announced health and wellness programme.

“As we prepare to fly as ‘Fiji Airways’ with brand new Airbus A330 aircraft, strong P&L, cash, and balance sheet positions, and international awards for being one of the best airlines in the world, it is clear that the company now has a proven track record of success and an exciting future ahead. With our modernization and rebranding almost complete and a completely new and highly capable management team in place, the time is right for me to pass the reigns and pursue other opportunities,” said Mr. Pflieger.

At the Board’s request, Mr. Pflieger, a business executive, attorney, and pilot with almost three decades of aviation experience, will assist with the selection and transition of a new chief executive and help ensure a smooth and successful introduction of the airline’s new aircraft and ‘Fiji Airways’ rebranding.

“The capstone of Air Pacific’s incredible turnaround will be the introduction of our new Airbus A330s. When we welcome the first of these three new wide-body aircraft in mid-March, it will be a proud day for the airline, Fiji, and all Fijians. Thus, I am especially pleased that Dave – as the architect of the airline’s turnaround, rebranding, and growth– will remain with us to see that through,” said Mr. Patel. “It is with great appreciation for a job extraordinarily well done that the Board thanks Dave for his leadership and wishes him and his family our very best regards for the future.”

Copyright Photo: Eurospot.

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Air Pacific: AG Slide Show

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Air Pacific introduces the new Fiji Airways brand for the upcoming Airbus A330-200s

Air Pacific (Nadi, Fiji) introduced its Fiji Airways livery today. The airline stated:

Air Pacific, Fiji’s national airline, hosted a world premiere event in Suva to introduce the new livery and features of its brand-new Airbus A330s scheduled to take to the skies in 2013.

The new fleet represents many firsts for the airline. The aircraft are the first brand-new, wide-bodied aircraft the company has ever purchased. The state-of-the-art Airbus A330s are the first flown with the first-ever highly fuel-efficient, low-CO2 emission Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines. And flying under a new name and with a new brandmark, the new A330s represent the first aircraft designed exclusively for Fiji and Fiji’s national airline.

“Air Pacific is on a transformational journey to become a best-in-class airline, and we are pleased to have best-in-class partners—Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Singapore Airlines, Panasonic and Zodiac Aerospace/Weber—to join us. We have made significant progress with our turnaround plan during the last 30 months, and have taken great strides to ensure everyone who steps aboard Fiji Airways in 2013 will be able to start their holiday when they step aboard. Service and comfort are top priorities, and these state-of-the-art aircraft promise the best of both worlds,” stated Mr. Pflieger.

The island nation’s new aircraft are equipped with cloud-comfortable economy and business class seats designed by Zodiac Aerospace/Weber. Each seat will have 110v in-seat power for a full range of electronic devices, including laptops, games, iPhones and iPads. In addition, the new aircraft will be equipped with one of the most advanced in-flight entertainment systems flying today, designed and installed by Panasonic.

“We knew the exterior design needed to be just as distinctive, unique, and true to Fiji. Our mission was to create a proud symbol that would stand out at some of the world’s busiest international airports, a symbol that would allow us to become the very best ‘Flying Ambassador’ that Fiji could ever have,” said the airline’s CEO.

On the aircrafts’ exterior, three Masi symbols will represent ‘Fiji Airways’. The distinctive Teteva motif, designed by renowned Fijian Masi artist Makereta Matemosi, is at the heart of the new brandmark revealed last month. Featured prominently at the center of the airline’s new brandmark and on the tail of the new aircraft, it represents the friendliness of Fijians’ and their deep caring nature. The Rova symbol, on the aircraft engine, symbolises the warm greeting Fijians extend to visitors, while the Makare symbol, which appears in the prominent position and scale on the front and underside of the plane, communicates the new ‘Fiji Airways’ name by evoking the allure of clear water flowing on a white sandy beach.

The unveiling of ‘Fiji Airways’ new livery and plane interiors is the latest milestone in a series of initiatives that are part of Air Pacific’s revitalisation and modernisation. The final phase of this process will begin in early 2013 when the airline welcomes the first of the three brand-new A330s and returns to its 1951 name of ‘Fiji Airways.’ The second A330 is scheduled to arrive in May 2013 and the third in November 2013.

The full re-branding for the airline is due to be complete by the end of 2013, by which time the new ‘Fiji Airways’ brand will roll out across the international marketplace, ticket offices, check-in counters, airport lounge facilities, uniforms and the airline’s official website.

The airline’s World Premier event in Suva, Fiji, was dedicated to raising funds for Fiji’s neediest children and children from flood-stricken families. “Because we are a part of Fiji’s national community, we wanted to give back to Fiji’s local community,” said Mr. Pflieger. “Wings of Hope, our airline’s charity, is committed to supporting Fiji’s most precious resource – its children.”

The airline donated two round-trip business class tickets on the first A330 inaugural flight – or a flight of the winner’s choice – in a raffle and pledged to match its donations dollar-for-dollar. The proceeds will benefit the FRIEND (Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development), which is based in Lautoka, through the Wings of Hope. The airline earlier this year donated FJ$100,000 to FRIEND. Wings of Hope has in the past also contributed to Nadi Hospital to assist school-children whose families were affected by March floods, Treasure Home (home for orphaned children) and various school projects.

We are pleased to unveil the design of our new Airbus 330-200 fleet taking to the skies in 2013. They are the first planes designed for Fiji’s international airline. They are the first wide bodied aircraft we have ever purchased, state of the art and highly fuel efficient with low carbon Rolls Royce engines. Our main cabin with in-seat power and video on demand featuring Panasonic’s cutting edge technology, in an environment that reflects the natural tones of Fiji. Relax in our business class seats designed for your comfort, where you will experience our exceptional Fiji Airways service. We look forward to proudly welcoming the world back on board as Fiji Airways and together we will soar to new horizons.

Image: Air Pacific. Air Pacific’s new Fiji Airways’ Airbus A330s will be “Flying Ambassadors” for Fiji in 2013.

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Air Pacific: 

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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Air Pacific: 

Air Pacific returns to profitability

Air Pacific (2nd) (Nadi), the national airline of Fiji, has achieved a significant milestone in its transformation plan, posting a return to profit for the first time in three years, with its financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012.

Despite a challenging aviation market over the last 12 months, Air Pacific Ltd. and Air Pacific Group both reported operating profits combined with a significant increase in passenger numbers and revenue.

  • Air Pacific Ltd. reported an operating profit of $16.5 million, compared to an operating loss of $3.7 million for the previous financial year
  • Air Pacific Group reported an operating profit of $13.4 million, compared to an operating loss of $4.3 million for the previous financial year. (Air Pacific Group includes the national airline, its wholly owned subsidiary Pacific Sun, and a 38.75% stake in the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa on Denarau Island).

On a net basis, Air Pacific Ltd. reported an after tax statutory profit of $11.4 million ($24.8 million for last fiscal year), and Air Pacific Group reported an after tax statutory profit of $10.7 million ($25.3 million for last fiscal year).

A focus on increasing passenger numbers, improvements to its network and achieving significant efficiencies across the airline saw Air Pacific also record its highest ever revenue of $645.9 million, an increase of $90.5 million in passenger revenue over FY2010/2011 and an increase of $130 million compared to FY2009/2010. Without any increase in the size of the airline’s fleet, the carrier increased passenger numbers by 85,000 for the fiscal year 2011/2012, and carried 122,000 more passengers compared to FY2009/2010.

The latest initiatives in the turnaround strategy include the recent announcement that Air Pacific will re-brand and revert to its former name Fiji Airways, coinciding with the delivery of brand-new Airbus A330-200 aircraft in 2013.

All amounts are in Fijian dollars.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard.

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