New route to offer cheaper flights, says Viljoen

Fiji Airways managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen speaks to the media before boarding the Fiji Airways VIP Vancouver flight at Nadi International Airport. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Around 80,000 Canadian residents who trace their roots to Fiji can now have direct access to the country through Fiji Airways’ new Vancouver flight.

Addressing guests after arriving on a promotional flight to Vancouver on Wednesday night, Fiji Airways CEO and managing director Andre Viljoen said the new route beginning on November 25 will offer cheaper flights for Fijians living in Canada.

“This direct service from Fiji to Vancouver will become an important bridge spanning across vast and diverse Pacific regions, will connect strangers that will become friends,” he said.

“It will connect businesses that can become partners through trade and other enterprises.

“Importantly, it will better connect the Fijian and Canadian governments and as well it will reconnect families that have been separated by hemispheres.”

He said Canada has been for a long time home to many members of the Fijian diaspora community.

“There are approximately around 80,000 people in Canada who trace their roots back to Fiji. This is now your fastest way to get to our islands.

“The days of making and paying your way through the California coast San Francisco or Los Angeles are over.”

He said their mission was to increase their flight frequencies once flight commenced in November.

“Obviously our mission is to go with much more flights but to start with we begin our flights on Mondays and Fridays.

“You can take a 10 hour flight direct from this airport in Vancouver and wake up in Fiji for breakfast.”

He added that the airline along with the tourism industry has been experiencing a ‘Bula Boom’ after the COVID19 pandemic.

“But before we opened on December 1, we went through a very difficult two years where we worked on surviving and then the important thing of that survival journey is thriving we’re experiencing today.”

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