Fiji welcomes first flight of international visitors in 20 months as borders open

Fiji welcomes first flight of international visitors in 20 months as borders open

As of 1 December  2021, Fiji Airways welcomes fully vaccinated tourists from travel partner countries on board for quarantine-free travel.

Flight FJ914 took off from Sydney International Airport at 6.30am (AEDT) yesterday, and landed at 11:25am Fiji time carrying 300 passengers eager for their first tropical island holiday. The visitors arrived to a big bula welcome and celebration from the local community. 

It’s a milestone the country has waited for since March 2020. Tourism has always been important to Fiji and its people, with the industry accounting for almost 40 per cent of Fiji’s GDP and employing approximately 1 in 8 locals. Prior to the pandemic, Australia accounted for 48 per cent of all inbound arrivals. 

Fiji Airways will operate 14 flights a week from Sydney (twice a day), utilising the airline’s new state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 and energy-efficient Boeing 737 MAX 8. 

Daily flights from Melbourne were also launched on Wednesday, with the first Victorians departing at 11.55pm (AEDT), and waking up to the beautiful 333 islands of Fiji this morning.

Daily Brisbane flights will commence once Queensland allows holidaying Australians to return to the state without hotel quarantine.

Fiji Airways’s managing director and chief executive officer, Andre Viljoen, said: “We have been working hard since March last year to prepare for this moment and ensure our guests have the safest and most enjoyable travel experience possible.

“We have incorporated an award-winning new Travel Ready safety programme, new in-flight entertainment for travellers of all ages and new seat selection options to enhance comfort for long-haul and mid-haul flights.”

Fiji Airways has achieved a Skytrax 5-Star COVID Safety rating, as well as the highest Hospital Grade “Diamond” certification by APEX Health and Safety.

“A key part of our Travel Ready programme is having medically-qualified Customer Wellness Champions for medical guidance and assistance onboard every international flight.” says Viljoen. 

The country is ready to safely welcome visitors back thanks to a successful vaccination rollout, seeing well over 90 per cent of its eligible population double vaccinated with both doses. 

Fiji does have some travel requirements in place to ensure visitors can book and travel in confidence that they’re keeping themselves and the locals of Fiji safe.

Travellers to Fiji must be from a selected Travel Partner country, and be fully vaccinated (under 18-years-olds can travel with a vaccinated adult). Anyone over the age of 12 must receive a negative RT PCR test taken 72 hours before boarding their flight to Fiji.

Once visitors arrive on Fiji soil, they will be able to holiday knowing that everyone they interact with is adhering to the highest health and safety practices. 

Images source: Tourism Fiji

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