Fiji welcomes first flight

Fiji welcomed flight FJ914 from Sydney close to midday today, its first since international borders and travelling resumed, carrying some of the country’s 75,000 people who have made bookings over the next few months to visit the country.

Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Andre Viljoen said the flight marked the culmination of 20 months of work behind the scene to ensure that Fiji is travel-safe ready.

Hours before the flight was due in, he offered reassurances about the airline’s covid-safe protocols amidst the discovery of the Omnicron variant saying that they have been designed to take into account such variants.

He also announced a new requirement that they have added on to their list for international travellers, requiring them to declare where they have been the previous 14 days before they board a flight to Fiji to ensure that they have not been to a ‘red zone’ country.

Tourism Fiji’s Chief Executive Brent Hill said the day is a celebration of work put in by the tourism industry.

“We are really looking forward to seeing those tourists come in, and we also know that our job has started again and we want to continue to see those tourists come in right through 2022.”

Airports Fiji Limited acting CEO Isei Tudreu thanked all airport workers and stakeholders for their efforts behind the scene to ensure the day came to pass.

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said a lot of people, particularly those who work in the tourism industry whose jobs were affected when international borders closed down, have returned to work and regaining their livelihoods.

He said it also means that the tourism industry needs to remain in the ball game with regards to the packages they offer tourists, and with the rest of the public, adhere to COVID-safe protocols for overall safety.

Photo: Fiji Airways

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