Fiji Airways has become the first airline from the South Pacific region to take delivery of the first of two A350-900s, partly based on greater cargo capability. The two aircraft will replace two leased A330s.
Fiji Airways will operate the A350 XWB on its Nadi (NAN)-Los Angeles (LAX) and Nadi-Sydney (SYD) routes. The carrier says this will further boost the airline’s position as a leading carrier from the South Pacific region, as well as to contributing to the ongoing growth of Fiji’s tourism sector and wider economy.
Explaining the carrier’s choice of the A350, Andries Viljoen, general manager of Fiji Airways says: “Most of our market is focused on Australia and New Zealand, and now we want to expand to the US, which is our next target.
“The A350 allows us to take a lot more cargo than the A330 that we currently operate, which is additional revenue on long flights to the US. This is partly why we made that choice,” Viljoen says.
Both aircraft are being leased from Dubai-based DAE Capital and are the first to be directly purchased by DAE Capital from Airbus.
Fiji Airways currently operates a fleet of six A330 Family and will benefit from the common type rating with the A350 XWB which allows pilots and crews to operate on both aircraft types.