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Fiji Airways receives first new Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft

Fiji Airways, the national carrier of the South Pacific island country, received on Saturday its first new Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft, which will go into commercial service from December 1, this year with its inaugural flight from Australia's Sydney to Nadi.

Named the “Island of Viti Levu”, the first ever extra wide body aircraft in the South Pacific region, arrived early Saturday in Fiji's Nadi International Airport with Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama being onboard the flight from Sydney.

It is clear that this is more than a plane, it is a symbol of Fiji's progress and growing modernity, he said, adding that the extended effect of this single strategic investment will bolster Fiji's tourism sector and create new jobs for the country.

Bainimarama said the plane can fly farther without refueling and it will open Fiji to lucrative markets.

“With a plane that is more fuel-efficient, we will lower Fiji’s carbon footprint, allowing us to again “walk the talk” when it comes to enhancing our Nationally Determined Contribution and combatting climate change.”

“This is the first Airbus A350-900 extra-wide body in the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, showing our visionary leadership and commitment to staying ahead of the curve when it comes to investing in the future of the Fijian economy.”

Fiji Airways Chief executive, Andre Viljeon says the aircraft has received praises from around the world during the Dubai Airshow.

“Even CEOs and Senior Officials of airlines like Air France, Emirates, Etihad, Air Senegal, Turkish, Spice Jet, British Airways and many others visited our aircraft. They were all very impressed and complementary of the quality and elegance of our unique product. In fact, the CEO of Emirates walked through our aircraft an hour before placing an order for 50 A350-900s just like ours.”

The plane will go into commercial service from 01 December with its inaugural flight from Sydney to Nadi.

The airline will receive its second A350-900 XWB aircraft by the mid of next month.

In May this year, Fiji Airways stopped the service of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft which was leased from Miami Air in April this year. The airline's decision came after a Boeing 737-800 aircraft operated by Miami Air slid off the runway into a river after landing in Jacksonville, the U.S. state of Florida during a thunderstorm.

In April this year, Fiji Airways leased a Boeing 737-800 aircraft from Miami Air to cover some of its schedules due to the temporary grounding of its two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in March this year after an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane crashed.

Currently, Fiji Airways operates international services from its hubs in Fiji to 13 countries, regions and 23 cities. It has an extended network of 108 international destinations through its codeshare partners.


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