Fiji Airways Strives For Best: Viljoen
Despite the wrath of Tropical Cyclone Winston, Fiji Airways Group still managed to conclude 2016 on a high note with significant achievements.
The key outcomes outlined yesterday by the group’s Managing Director/CEO Andre Viljoen, at their financial year report conference in Nadi were:
- Launch of new routes to Singapore, San Francisco, and Vava’u (Tonga)
- Increased frequencies to Hong Kong from three to five flights a week, and seasonally increased frequencies to Auckland, Apia, Christchurch, Los Angeles, Sydney, Nuku’alofa, Funafuti, Savusavu, Taveuni and Kadavu
- Conclusion of a ground-breaking package deal for five new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to arrive in 2018 and 2019. The deal, which followed a rigorous, thorough and transparent process, represents an excellent value for Fiji and stakeholders.
- Start of operations using the new A330-300 aircraft on long-haul routes, offering a quiet zone and extra legroom products for guests
- Hiring 27 additional pilots and 82 new cabin crew to cater for increased operations.
- Undertaking a major onboard product refresh, including inflight entertainment, meals, wines, welcome cocktail and mocktail, and Business Class amenity kit.
- Designing a new world-class lounge at Nadi International Airport with capacity for 200 guests, to be opened mid-2017.
- The launch of the UP! Your Service programme led by world-renowned expert Ron Kaufman, to develop and form a new service culture. All Fiji Airways team members are attending a two-day ‘Achieving Superior Service’ workshop to begin a programme to develop a common service understanding and language and to improve service to customers and colleagues.
- Introduction of a Premier Services Team at its home bases of Nadi and Suva International airports, offering concierge services to our VIP guests.
- Improving the Tabua Club membership programme with a dedicated new team.
- Completion of a Skytrax audit to identify service and product improvements to move from a 3-Star to 4-Star airline rating.
- Achieving the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) accreditation for Fiji Link.
- Strengthening the codeshare agreement with American Airlines, connecting to 38 destinations in the United States, and finalising a new interline agreement with Jetstar Asia, connecting to more than 21 destinations in South East Asia.
- Launching a state-of- the-art aviation academy in Nadi for pilot training, complete with aircraft simulators for both Boeing and Airbus aircraft. This academy will offer pilot training for pilots from Fiji and the Pacific region.
Mr Viljoen said: “2017 will be another busy year as we’ve set bigger, even more ambitious goals for ourselves. This year we are targeting many further service improvements to attain the highly prized 4-Star Skytrax rating during 2018.
“We are increasing our focus on Singapore with a dedicated new Sales team in place and a codeshare partnership with Jet Airways to target more Indian travellers.
“We will fly directly between Nadi and Adelaide from June; further extending Fiji’s reach into its biggest tourism source market. San Francisco will be extended to a year-round service, providing increased tourism growth opportunities from mainland USA.
“We are constantly looking to add value to Fijian tourism and the Fijian economy. We are further reinforcing our pilot progression plan, and future pilot recruitment for Fiji Airways will be through Fiji Link.”