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Air New Zealand Resumes Commercial Flights

The New Zealand flight was the first commercial flight to arrive in the country after the international borders reopened on December 1, Fiji Airports manager airport landside operations and customer services, Joe Gray said.
07 Dec 2021 11:00
Air New Zealand Resumes Commercial Flights
Air New Zealand’s Boeing 789 Dreamliner flight 952 arrived at Nadi International Airport on December 6, 2021, as the first Air New Zealand commercial flight since Fiji reopened its international borders. Photo: Fiji Airports

Air New Zealand’s first commercial flight to Fiji since the international borders reopened heralds the resumption of travel between the two countries.

Tourism Fiji chief executive officer, Brent Hill, said the flight, which carried mostly repatriated passengers and some tourists, arrived at Nadi International Airport, yesterday.

Fiji and New Zealand are travel partners.

 

Bookings from New Zealand are looking solid from February 14, 2022, when home-based quarantine would be enabled, Mr Hill said.

Over 1,000 international bookings were lost on the back of reconsideration about having to spend some time in some form of confinement upon returning to their respective countries, he said.

Under the Bula Bubble campaign, 60,000 of the 100,000 bookings were sold between the Australian and American market, Mr Hill said.

 

“It’s good that it (local accommodation capacity) is not completely sold out, as that leaves room for markets such as New Zealand,” he said.

 

Fully Re-Open
Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association chief executive officer, Fantasha Lockington said the tourism sector was expected to fully reopen in April, 2022.

Meanwhile, Karishma Kajal was the first passenger to disembark the New Zealand flight in Nadi.

The New Zealand flight was the first commercial flight to arrive in the country after the international borders reopened on December 1, Fiji Airports manager airport landside operations and customer services, Joe Gray said.

 

Repatriation
He said most passengers were locals.

Ms Kaja, who resides in Christchurch, New Zealand, said she was returning to Fiji with her daughter, Alishi Raj, after three years.

The duo are here to visit their family.

 

“I can barely hold down my excitement about meeting my family and friends in Suva,” Ms Kaja said.

She said the Bula spirit that filled the airport upon her arrival added to her glee.

“The welcoming Bula spirit at the Nadi International Airport is more than we expected.”

 

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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