The South Pacific-based airline revealed intentions to start flying to Canada – which is set to become Fiji Airways’ 20th direct international service.
The Canadian city in question is Vancouver in British Columbia and is slated to start from November 25 of this year.
The direct, 5,876-mile flight between Nadi, Fiji and Vancouver will be flown twice-weekly on Mondays and Fridays, deploying one of its three-strong contingent of Rolls-Royce Trent 700-equipped Airbus A330-200s; these consist of DQ-FJT (c/n 1394), DQ-FJU (c/n 1416) – pictured – and DQ-FJV (c/n 1465).
The schedule for the new connection will see Flight FJ 880 depart Nadi at 2215hrs, with an arrival into the Canadian metropolis at 1320hrs local time. The return leg – FJ 881 – leaves Vancouver at 2140hrs, landing back into Fiji at 0530hrs +2 local.
Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways managing director and chief executive officer, commented: "This is a very exciting development as we continue to explore ways to maximise returns, not just for Fiji Airways, but for the tourism industry and the Fijian economy. Canada represents a new market with immense potential for tourism, trade and of course re-connecting Fijian families.
"The Fijian diaspora in Canada is approximately 80,000 – people who have not been able to see their loved ones for two years and are eager to fly home. Fiji Airways now provides them with a more convenient means to do just that.
"Our new route is strategically timed to offer Canadians an escape from the cold winter to a beautiful Fijian paradise, promising warm tropical weather, world class hospitality, excellent in-flight service and a comfortable modern aircraft fleet.
"Returning to the skies doesn't just mean resuming existing routes. If we are to strengthen ourselves and grow as a business, we must invest in new markets and solidify our networks. Vancouver was the ideal choice for us," added Viljoen.
Interestingly, ahead of the launch of regular sorties to Canada later this year, a direct “one-off promotional” flight is due to occur.
This is scheduled to depart Fiji on August 9 at 1900hrs, arriving in Vancouver at 1045hrs local. This is followed by a take-off from the Canadian city at 2240hrs on August 10, with touchdown in Fiji at 0455hrs +2 local. These flights will also operate by A330s and will carry the same flight numbers previously mentioned.
Fiji Airways currently flies to two other destinations on the North American mainland, namely Los Angeles and San Francisco in the USA.