SUNBIZ

Northern Air Gets Bandeirante Flying With An $2 Million Refurbishment

Northern Air, after receiving all the regulatory approvals, has finally introduced its Embraer Bandeirante. This means the locally-owned and operated company can now fly twice into Labasa from Nausori daily
01 Nov 2014 15:54
Northern Air Gets Bandeirante Flying With An $2 Million Refurbishment
Captain Rainjesh San.

Northern Air, after receiving all the regulatory approvals, has finally introduced its Embraer Bandeirante.

This means the locally-owned and operated company can now fly twice into Labasa from Nausori daily with the 20-seater aircraft.

Owner Captain Rainjesh San said they have started with Labasa but the next two routes they will be looking at are flying into Rotuma and Nadi.

By then, Captain San is confident they should have had been able to bring back the second Embraer Bandeirante which is being refurbished as we write.

They hope to introduce this by early next year and then will be looking at flying into Savusavu and Taveuni as well.

The holdup

Captain San said although the aircraft had been ready, it was the scarcity of the crew and a few issues with the regulatory authorities which needed approvals.

“There were not many pilots around who have worked on the Banderainte and that actually took a while to get the training out of the way,” he said.

“But it took long because the aircraft had a lot of issues with the Civil Aviation Authority and Airports Fiji Limited together with the crewing issue.

“All the approvals have been given finally now and CAAF has really facilitated well with us.

“We’re very honoured and very thankful to the Civil Aviation Authority that they have actually, together with Northern Air’s effort, have made all this happen.”

Investment

The former Air Pacific big jet captain invested $2 million in this Embraer Banderainte which he had bought from Air Fiji when the company wound up.

“It was a complete restoration together with two brand new engines,” he said.

He had bought three such aircraft. Before introducing the Embraer Banderainte, Captain San used an eight seater Britten Norman Islander to operate to Labasa and other routes.

This aircraft is now free to service other routes.

And as it has, Captain San confirmed they have already started a second flight into Levuka.

“I really want people to know that we’ve started second in Levuka flight especially with it being declared a National Heritage Site and Government policies,” he said.

“We have got two flights now going to Levuka on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. We have introduced that flight. We have also introduced afternoon flights into Savusavu.

“We are hopeful that we will get more routes to Southern Lau and we will increase the schedules to Bureta.”

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 




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