Gavoka queries Vancouver service

Fiji Airways manager corporate communications Edwin Nand during their promotion event in Vancouver, Canada. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

The economics of operating flights to Canada must be the driving factor for Fiji, not politics, says Social Democratic Liberal Party leader Viliame Gavoka.

He made the comment in the wake of Fiji Airways promotional flight to Vancouver on Tuesday which included Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill, Fiji Airports chairman Hasmukh Patel and the national carrier’s managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen.

“I was surprised to see that entourage for Vancouver,” Mr Gavoka said.

“Have they done the ground work with the travel partners in Canada?

“The Vancouver service needs the whole Canadian travel community, coast to coast behind it. “The whole thing looks hurried and the fact that the Tourism Minister was not included is quite telling.

“At a time like this, the focus should be on strengthening existing routes not experimenting on new ones. Mr Gavoka asked if politics was behind the promotional flight.

“The economics of the exercise must be the driving factor, not politics,” he said. Fiji Airways will begin scheduled direct flights to Vancouver from November 25 this year.

  • Questions sent to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum and Fiji Airways yesterday on the comments made by Mr Gavoka remained unanswered when this edition went to press.

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