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Fiji Airways Exceptional Performance Attributed To Reforms

The financial performance of Fiji Airways was described as evidence of FijiFirst Government’s programme to reform the airline working closly with the airline board and management. These were the comments
24 Feb 2015 10:52
Fiji Airways Exceptional Performance Attributed To Reforms

The financial performance of Fiji Airways was described as evidence of FijiFirst Government’s programme to reform the airline working closly with the airline board and management.

These were the comments made the Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, yesterday.

This was as the Fiji Airways Group announced its highest ever pre-tax profit of $60.8 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014.

This is compared to $14.1 million pre-tax profit recorded by the group for the nine-month period the previous year.

Fiji Airways as a holding company reported a pre-tax profit of $65.2 million compared to a pre-tax profit of $8.3 million for the nine-month period the previous year.

These results are more than two times better than the best operating profit achieved in the history of Air Pacific Limited back in 2005.

“Together, we replaced trade union confrontation with co-operation and transformed the working environment,” he said.

“We empowered the workers of Fiji Airways and gave them a stake in the airline’s future.

“And this partnership has not only paid a handsome dividend for the airline and all who work for it but is a model of excellence and performance for every industry in Fiji.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji Airways was flying higher than ever before and was achieving iconic status not only in Fiji but in the global marketplace.

“This result vindicates the FijiFirst Government’s decision to rebrand the airline to make it a genuine expression of the Fijian spirit,” he said.

“It vindicates our decision to invest in new aircraft, such as our state-of-the-art A330s and new ATRs.

“And it vindicates our confidence that with the right attitude and commitment, Fiji Airways could not only turn its fortunes around but become a symbol of pride for every Fijian.

Fiji Airways chairman, Nalin Patel, said: “We’re obviously delighted with this performance, which has been achieved through the hard work of the entire team.

“All of the key business and financial metrics outperformed the previous financial year.

“Passenger numbers, load factor and average fares all improved significantly, coupled with growth in line with productivity levels of the best global airlines.”

 

Performance breakdown

Fiji Airways outgoing managing director/chief executive and Member of the Board, Stefan Pichler, said all international markets performed strongly.

He said their core markets in New Zealand and Australia delivered strong returns; coupled with demand growth from Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Fiji Link’s regional and domestic services also contributed positively to the Group performance, he said.

“The 2014 performance we have achieved is testament to the five-year strategic plan we commenced in December 2013,” he said.

“It provides us with the foundation to continue to build the business over the remainder of the five year plan.”

“Our results are also sustainable and not merely driven from lower than anticipated fuel prices in the second half of the year.”

Mr Pichler said any upsides they did realise were largely off-set by foreign currency exposures on aircraft US dollar-based loans.

 

The industry ahead

Mr Pichler however stressed it was important not to lose sight of the fact that aviation is a volatile industry.

“The fuel price relief will not last, and indications are that the price is increasing again,” he said.

“So we will maintain our cost-management discipline and focus, and only make wise investment decisions.

“The airline is already prepared for a busy year ahead, with the addition of a B737-800 and a new A330-300 to its fleet.

“Also the launch of new routes (Nadi-Wellington) and increased frequencies to key destinations.

“It is also assessing a new long-haul route in Asia. Our guests can also look forward to further enhancements to our on-board offering, as well as further enhanced customer service at its airports and new Reservations Centre.”

Feedback: rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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