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Qantas eyes return to Fijian market

 

Nov 29, 2018 05:13:39 PM

Qantas eyes return to Fijian market Qantas is aiming to return to the Fijian market in 2019 after lodging an application for capacity rights to serve the popular Pacific Island tourist destination.

The airline has asked the International Air Services Commission (IASC) for 696 seats per week between Australia and Fiji.

“Effective during the Northern Summer scheduling season, commencing 31 March 2019, Qantas plans to commence services between Australia and Fiji route using B737 aircraft,” the application dated November 27 and published on the IASC website said.

As Qantas’s Boeing 737-800s are configured with 174 seats – 12 business recliners in a 2-2 layout and 162 economy class seats at six abreast – the application for 696 seats a week suggested the airline is planning to operate four return flights a week between Australia and Fiji.

A Qantas spokesperson confirmed it was the airline’s intention to return to Fiji, adding that further details would be released at a later date.

“We are planning to launch new services from Australia to Fiji, where we are seeing increased demand for premium travel,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday.

Qantas last flew to Fiji with its own aircraft in the early 2000s.

Currently, it codeshares on Fiji Airways’ nonstop flights from Nadi to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as between Sydney and Suva.

The Australian carrier has owned 46 per cent of Fiji Airways since 1998.

Qantas’s application to serve Fiji comes a month after the governments of Australia and Fiji agreed to expand the air services agreement to increase the number of available seats for airlines of both countries by 20 per cent.

Previously, airlines of both countries were utilising just about all of the 6,500 seats of available capacity from Australia’s four major gateways of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney to Fiji. There were no capacity restrictions to Australian cities other than those four points.

By Reginald Chandar

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