Business

Teary Reunions As Fiji Airways Resumes NZ Flights

New Zealand is booming, Tourism Fiji chief executive officer, Brent Hill, said yes­terday. His comment followed the recom­mencement of commercial flights to more destinations within New Zealand.
15 Apr 2022 14:49
Teary Reunions As Fiji Airways Resumes NZ Flights
Rajneeta Devi (in black) meets her family at Nadi International Airport, as commercial fights recommenced between Nadi and Wellington. Photo: Mereleki Nai

New Zealand is booming, Tourism Fiji chief executive officer, Brent Hill, said yes­terday.

His comment followed the recom­mencement of commercial flights to more destinations within New Zealand.

“The flight bookings from New Zealand are really flooding in,” he said.

“We expect that like Australia, it will exceed 2019 levels by June and July, which is an incredible effort.

“We’re very happy.”

Emotions run high

Emotions ran high at Nadi Inter­national Airport as families reunit­ed as Fiji Airways first commercial flight from Wellington arrived.

It came more than two years after the international borders closed, fol­lowing the global impact of the COV­ID-19 pandemic.

For Fijian-born Kiwi resident, Ra­jneeta Devi and her family, there were tears of joy, as they were met by relatives in Nadi.

She was among 129 passengers who arrived from the first direct flight from Wellington to Fiji.

Ms Devi, who came with her son, Dajay Reddy, and daughter, Gouravi Joshika said she had not met her family in three years.

New Zealand tourist, Caelan Burns and his family chose Fiji as the des­tination to celebrate his brother’s birthday.

“It is great to be back,” he said.

“We were so excited.

“It is going to be fun.

“We were last here in 2019.

“We are also here to celebrate my brother’s 18th birthday.”

Tina Sosefo is back after three years.

The New Zealand resident is in the country to visit her elderly parents.

“We are blessed to be here in Fiji,” she said.

National carrier, Fiji Airways will operate two direct weekly flights a week from Wellington and Christch­urch to Nadi, and daily flights from Auckland.

The national carrier will also service two weekly flights from Christchurch to Fiji.

Merry-making was the order of business at Nadi International Airport over the past two days as Fiji Airways resumed commercial flights to Wellington and Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Mereleki Nai

Merry-making was the order of business at Nadi International Airport over the past two days as Fiji Airways resumed commercial flights to Wellington and Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Mereleki Nai

Inbound travelers must show:

  • Proof of vaccination,
  • A negative pre-departure rapid test taken 24-hours prior,
  • A pre-booked post-arrival rapid test and travel insurance.

Fiji Airways managing director and chief executive officer, Andre  Viljoen, said the move to resume flights with destinations in New Zealand, followed a surge of en­quiries from travellers.

He said a special celebration was planned at Wellington Airport for guests travelling on the first flight.

Guests can expect a special journey to Fiji with the 60-plus enhanced flight services, which include:

  • increased baggage allowance from 23 kilogrammes to 30 kilo­grammes in economy,
  • a new way to keep our younger guests entertained on-board with complimentary in-flight activity pack and book series.
  • Fiji Airways’ new seasonal Busi­ness Class menu by the renowned Kiwi-Fijian head chef, Richard Cross, is now available on-board.
  • a new suite of highly-rated inter­national wines.
  • Holiday-starved travellers can en­joy extra time in Fiji courtesy of the Resort Check-in feature with Fiji Airway, available at the Sofi­tel Fiji Resort and Spa, Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort, and the Radisson Blu Resort Fiji.

“As we continue to ramp up our flight schedules across New Zealand, guests can trust our commitment to safety with our award-winning Trav­el Ready service, Skytrax five-star COVID Safety rating and the highest Hospital Grade “Diamond” certifica­tion by APEX Health and Safety,” Mr Viljoen said.

Wellington Airport chief executive officer, Steve Sanderson, said they were extremely excited to re-launch direct flights to and from Fiji.

“This route first launched in 2015, and brings tropical holidays directly to Wellingtonians’ doorstep,” Mr Sanderson said.

“This forms a key part of our plans to reconnect Wellington with the world, and we are looking forward to the continued recovery of interna­tional travel and tourism.”



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