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Fiji Airways debuted twice-weekly nonstop service between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Nadi, Fiji, earlier this month, offering the new seasonal flights on Thursday and Sunday.
The carrier is operating Airbus A330 aircraft on the 10-hour segments, featuring both business class and economy, with in-flight entertainment, meals and beverages.
“This route has been selling well,” said Andre Viljoen, managing director and CEO for Fiji Airways, noting that the airline had anticipated strong sales for the new flight, thanks to the large demographic of Fijians and Pacific Islanders in the Bay Area. “Our inaugural flights to and from San Francisco are showing good loads and continue to see healthy booking trends.”
Fiji Airways will operate its new seasonal SFO-Nadi nonstops in June, July, August and December of this year, as well in as January 2017. The carrier also offers daily nonstops between Los Angeles and Nadi, and according to Viljoen, U.S. business has improved in 2016.
“Traffic and demand out of the U.S has grown year upon year, and this is reflected in the increase of our capacity and daily services,” he said. “Naturally, you have your peak and your trough periods, but overall, the U.S. remains one of our strongest markets.”
Still, Fiji has shouldered some dramatic challenges in 2016, enduring the strongest storm ever recorded in the South Pacific with Cyclone Winston, followed by widespread flooding in April. The natural disasters took a slight toll on tourism business.
“The first few months saw a slight downturn as a result of back-to-back natural disasters,” Viljoen said of the U.S. market. “We are now seeing bookings recover and demand return and increase further, particularly in the dive and honeymoon segments, which Fiji is so well-known for as a destination.”