Fiji Airways sets deadline for passenger flights

A Fiji Airways plane at the Nadi International Airport. Picture: FILE/REINAL CHAND

National airline Fiji Airways has set itself a December 1 deadline to start commercial passenger flights.

After booking more than 6600 seats from its various destinations, the airline was eagerly awaiting the reopening of international borders.

Fiji Airways managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen said they had been working closely with stakeholders in the tourism industry including Government to create a safe passageway for their international travellers.

“We’ve had our December 2019 schedules open for sale for many weeks now and, for example, we’ve already had more than 6600 bookings for the month of December,” he said.

“In that schedule, we took our December 2019 schedules, made small changes and we have every destination that we fly to open for sale.

“As we get closer to the date that we are going to start flying and we are working towards our targeted date which is December 1, we will then obviously amend that schedule for which country will be open and for which country will not be open.”

The airline was instrumental in creating the government endorsed travel framework which outlined the green and red zone travellers into Fiji once international borders reopened.

Mr Viljoen said the framework allowed for non-quarantine travel for green zone travellers while those travelling from red zone countries would be required to spend time at a quarantine facility before being allowed to holiday in Fiji.

“If they are green, their country will be at least 60 per cent fully vaccinated, no more than five per cent of the population at any one time is positive with COVID and they have no new variant of COVID.

“With travellers coming from that green zone country, they will arrive in Fiji fully vaccinated with a 72-hour PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test result, have a rapid test at the airport or when they get to their hotel, and then they are free to roam and have their holiday with no quarantining.”

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