By James Wilkinson
In a huge boost to the region’s MICE industry, V Australia has announced the launch of daily flights between Sydney and Nadi, Fiji, following the approval of services by the International Air Services Commission.
V Australia is set to take-off to Fiji in December
Set to take off on December 18, the V Australia flights replace existing Pacific Blue services between the two cities, adding additional seats, cabins of service and in-flight entertainment on the Sydney-Nadi route.
Virgin Blue Group CEO Brett Godfrey said V Australia would operate three-class, 361-seat Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the route and launch fares would start from $199 each way in international economy.
“We’re very pleased to be increasing our capacity and introducing V Australia to and from one of Australia’s best loved international getaway destinations,” he said.
In recent months, Fiji has been recording its highest ever monthly inbound arrival numbers from Australia – from all market segments including leisure, business and conferencing – in a sign the country is firmly on the tourism mend.
V Australia’s new flights – alongside projected 4-weekly Jetstar services, after the Qantas Group carrier was also granted the rights to fly to Fiji – will dramatically increase arrival numbers to the South Pacific nation.
Some of the most aggressive selling is expected to be at the pointy end of the plane, with Virgin Blue Group making a huge jump from one-class 180-seat Boeing 737-800s to three-class 361-seat Boeing 777-300ERs.
In a sign of prices to come, V Australia also has international premium economy on sale from $469 one-way and international business from $649 one-way (all are priced until Nov 30) – and all three cabins are fully inclusive of food, beverages and seat-back entertainment.
V Australia is initially launching the services with a daily frequency, but that will drop back to six times per week from February 1 onwards, the same day the airline reduces Sydney-Los Angeles flights from seven to six days per week, and in-line with the launch of Melbourne-Johannesburg flights from March 2010.