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Fiji Airways’ Airbus A350 Operates Special FJ50 Flight On Fiji 50 Route

“With the low fly over Fiji, it was quite unique and it was a privilege for us to do one and a privilege for me to be on one to see the country, in a way you never see before. “We’re happy that people took the opportunity and enjoyed it and what a great day for Fiji, and for every Fijian.”
11 Oct 2020 12:54
Fiji Airways’ Airbus A350 Operates Special FJ50 Flight On Fiji 50 Route
The flight path taken by the FJ50 on October 10, 2020, as shown in flight tracking.

Fiji Airways provided a surprise 50th anniversary of independence salute in the skies above the nation yesterday.

The pilots of its flagship Airbus A350-900XWB special FJ50 “Fl;ight Against Cancer” flew a flight path in the shape of a giant 50 (see above) on its journey from Nadi International Airport and return.

On the flight deck were Captain Richard Yuen, Captain Etika Tuisue, Executive General Manager Flight Operations and Chief Pilot Captain Aaron Dean and Second Officer Cassandra Robinson.

The flight made a spectacular addition to the national celebrations at Albert Park in Suva as they brought the big A350 swooping in low and slow above the celebrations. They showed that our national airline is ready to get back into international passenger operations as soon as possible.

Fiji Airways Executive General Manager, Customer Experience, Corporate Affairs and Fiji Link, Shaenaz Voss, said: “We are honoured to be here and to be part of the FJ50 flight and we’re able to make it possible for other people to enjoy.

“It was indeed a very, wonderful occasion for everyone on board, and also on the ground.

“We are a country that stands up to the challenge and challenge after challenge and overcome it with the Bula Spirit.

“I’m sure that people in Albert Park and around the country are proud as we did the FJ50 flight and did the 50 loop around the islands.

“With the low fly over Fiji, it was quite unique and it was a privilege for us to do one and a privilege for me to be on one to see the country, in a way you never see before.

“We’re happy that people took the opportunity and enjoyed it and what a great day for Fiji, and for every Fijian.”

Ms Voss wished everyone a wonderful Fiji Day.

Fiji Airways collected in excess of $15,000 in donations for the Fiji Cancer Society from a limited number of passengers who made donations for specified seats.

The flight was part of the airline’s short-term ‘ready for flight’ storage programme, a Fiji Airways statement said.

It was operated under written approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF), who also had senior personnel present onboard for observation.

Guests were treated to a special breakfast at the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge before boarding the flight. Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO, Andre Viljoen explained to them the A350 “has been in our COVID-19 short-term ‘ready for flight’ storage programme.

The programme requires periodic planned flights to ensure the aircraft is ready to return to commercial service rapidly when required.

He said: “The aircraft was slated to undertake its periodic storage programme flight in early October, and because today is an important milestone in the country’s history, we are taking an operational necessity, and turning it into something special.”

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