Fiji schedule increase April 0817/04/2008
STRONG TOURISM GROWTH PROMPTS NEW SERVICES
Thursday 17 April 2008: Pacific Blue Airlines has announced plans to increase the number of flights from Australia to Fiji, with the introduction of two new services from June this year. It comes in the wake of statistics that show the island nation is in the midst of a tourism “sweet spot” for Australian travellers.
The announcement was made by two of Virgin Blue’s key executives during a visit to Fiji to meet with Government and tourism officials regarding Pacific Blue’s growth plans for the country.
The decision to boost services follows ongoing and steady demand for Fiji flights, with strong growth experienced for direct flights from Sydney and Brisbane.
Since Pacific Blue launched flights in September 2004, it has delivered more than 161,000 Australian tourists to Fiji who have injected over FJD $252-million in to the local economy.*
Recent statistics reveal more good news for Fiji with a strong performance in passenger market growth:
The Brisbane-Fiji passenger market has grown by 66,684 passengers or 82% since Pacific Blue’s entry on this route
The Sydney-Fiji passenger market has grown by 59,143 passengers or 26%
The number of Australian residents travelling to Fiji has increased by 23.4%
The holiday segment has grown by 28%
The strong statistics have given Pacific Blue the confidence to add two weekly services from Brisbane to Fiji on a Tuesday and a Saturday from 17 June 2008, taking it to a daily flight frequency.
Pacific Blue representatives are spending two days in Fiji discussing Pacific Blue’s ongoing strategy to further increase visitor numbers. Also on the agenda are joint marketing opportunities, Pacific Blue’s desire to support travel media visits to promote Fiji, as well as other potential future business opportunities, including flights from Fiji to New Zealand and also flights to Nausori airport.
Virgin Blue Chief Commercial Officer, Stefan Pichler said, “Concerns of a tourism downturn due to past political unrest seem to be completely unfounded and in fact, Fiji has become one of Pacific Blue’s key destinations for International visitors.”
He continued, “We are very pleased that Pacific Blue has been able to contribute significantly to the increase in tourism numbers which in turn has economic, job opportunities and business spin-offs for the people of Fiji.”
“The new Pacific Blue flights will be a further stimulus for this growth and will ensure Fiji is even more attractive as a destination, especially for the conference and convention market who will have the flexibility of a daily flight to tailor their conference to their specific needs and timings.”
The daily Brisbane-Fiji flights will compliment the existing 10 return direct flights a week to Fiji from Sydney. The airline also offers comprehensive connecting flights between other Australian ports and Fiji.
BRISBANE-NADI - EFFECTIVE 17 JUNE 2008
NADI-BRISBANE – EFFECTIVE 17 JUNE 2008
* Source - Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Australia
Department of Transport and Regional Economics Australia
About Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue, and Virgin Blue Airlines
Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue, along with Australian domestic airline Virgin Blue, operate a fleet of 63 modern Boeing 737 and Embraer E-Jet aircraft flying to 24 Australian and eight international destinations including New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands. Polynesian Blue is Samoa’s national airline and a joint venture between the Government of Samoa and Virgin Blue Airlines.