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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

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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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