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Chinese From First Beijing-Nadi Charter Arrive

Chinese From First Beijing-Nadi Charter Arrive
Chinese visitors with Fiji Airways crew in Beijing ready to board the first Beijing-Nadi flight which arrived in the country the past night.
February 03
10:09 2016

History was indeed created last night. Over 300 high-spending Chinese tourists landed at the Nadi International Airport on the first direct Beijing-Nadi charter flight.

The tourists arrived on board the brand new Fiji Airways Airbus A330-300 chartered by Rosie Holidays.

The new visitors here to celebrate the Chinese New Year were welcomed by President Major General (retired) Jioji Konrote.

This is the first time a Fiji Airways jet has flown directly to Fiji from the Chinese capital.

Rosie Holidays managing director, Tony Whitton, said the charter flight was a big thing for them as a travel company but was even bigger for our country.

“Every time a charter flight comes it does two things – it creates media awareness in China and generally after tourism starts to happen, then trade starts to happen,” he said.

There will be three other flights from mainland China this week and next week; one more from Beijing on February 8 and two more from Shanghai.

“For us, we have our national carrier flying into the second largest economy in the world,” he said.

“Fiji Airways is already flying into Hong Kong which is Southern China. But Beijing and Shanghai, we are focussing on Northern China.

“So it is basically opening up those potential. Shanghai is the economic capital – it’s like the Wall Street of China and Shanghai is the political capital.”

In addition, there will be two charter flights coming in from Taiwan as well. The Fiji Airways charter for the Taiwan flight is not chartered by Rosie Holidays but they will act as ground agents for this.

 

Partners in efforts

Fiji Airways managing director/chief executive, Andre Viljoen, believes the charters will create greater awareness into mainland China and Taiwan that helps support scheduled services such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

“It’s excellent awareness for destination Fiji, and especially through channels like social media and word of mouth,” he said.

“The charters also underline the great working relationship we have with Fijian tourism stakeholders and businesses.

“It also helps maximise capacity during an otherwise low season, and obviously supports Hoteliers in filling up rooms.

“For Fiji Airways, it improves aircraft utilisation which in turns helps spread our overhead cost.”

Mr Viljoen said the airline’s charter business, while a small part of the business model, is designed to maximise aircraft utilisation.

 

Marketing

Meanwhile, Mr Whitton confirmed close to $0.5 million was used in marketing in China to support the charter flights.

This was in partnership with Tourism Fiji, Rosie Holidays and resort partners.

Mr Whitton said they came up with a marketing plan which was deployed for Shanghai and Beijing.

“The marketing plan – we signed five key Chinese tour operators and we basically sold them seats on the plane – we gave them allocations,” he said.

“And then we did road shows in about six cities. We started training the travel agents and we did consumer advertising in newspapers and also in cinemas.”

EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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