Fiji Airports secures major financing facility

Fiji Airports has secured a multimillion-dollar finance facility that will pave the way for pending works to commence, assuring its resilience to the changing landscape including the pandemic and natural disasters, chairman Geoffery Shaw said.

In a statement, Shaw did not say how much the facility is worth only saying that the funding via ANZ Fiji partnership with the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP)  “reinforces and provides assurance for our business, certainty for our employees and our long-term future.”

Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said: “This finance facility ensures that Nadi International Airport is equipped with facilities to serve as the gateway to the new normal for the entire Pacific — connecting our region to the world and connecting Fijians to each other.”

Shaw added that the loan facility funded in local currency, without the requirement of a Fijian Government guarantee, is recognition by our funding partners of the significant role that Fiji Airports and in particular Nadi International Airport, play as the aviation hub of the South Pacific.

“Nadi International Airport is aggressively gearing up for international tourism recovery once borders reopen. The completion of committed pre-COVID and future works, will enhance our capability, add to our capacity and reinforce our readiness to grow the future of tourism for the benefit of the broader economy. Additionally, this facility will provide for Government’s ongoing vision and our joint social obligation to provide air connectivity to remote outer islands to promote opportunity for business development for all Fijians.” Shaw said.

Australian High Commissioner John Feakes said: “Australia is pleased to be making an important investment in an organisation that will be critical for Fiji’s economic recovery. This investment will support local employment and ensure Fiji and the region are ready to receive visitors as soon as borders reopen.

Fiji Airports acting CEO, Isei Tudreu said the ability to commercially negotiate this innovative finance facility as a state-owned enterprise, is a demonstration of our commitment towards business recovery and confirmation by our finance partners of the future long term commercial viability of the company.

“Nadi International Airport plays an integral role in our economy. Pre COVID, the total international passenger movements were 2.2 million annually. We are anticipating a ramp up of operations and look forward to the resumption of air travel when it will be safe to do so.”

“Nadi International Airport has received Airport Health Accreditation from Airports Council International, a global trade representative of the world’s airport authorities. This accreditation underscores our ongoing commitment and effort to build passenger confidence once travel resumes,” Tudreu said.

The loan refinance package is a take out of an existing loan balance and provides additional capacity for approved capital works projects.

“The greater part of the funding facility replaces our 2014 Nadi Airport Terminal Modernisation Project loan which we have been successfully paying down over the years due to a well-structured and profitable business enterprise,” Tudreu said.    

The funding facility will assist in the substantive off-gates project at Nadi International Airport to provide further accommodation for larger code E aircraft (A350s) and additional 737 apron parking leading to potential increased frequency, uplift and passenger numbers.

Additionally, the facility will provide for the completion of Air Traffic Management Systems upgrades and the capacity to invest in and further enhance Fiji Airports’ network of outer island airports’ facilities.

Photo: Fiji Airports

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