Fiji Airways revealed that Canberra, Australia is the latest international destination to be added to its network.
The airline currently serves three other Australian cities from Nadi International Airport (NAN): Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport (SYD), Melbourne Airport (MEL), and Brisbane International Airport (BNE). Fiji Airways also flies to SYD airport from Suva’s Nausori International Airport (SUV).
Starting July 2023, the Fijian flag carrier will fly twice weekly direct flights from NAN Airport to Canberra Airport (CBR) using Fiji Airways’ two newly-acquired Airbus A350 aircraft.
“As Fiji’s National Airline, we are proud to be flying to the Capital of Australia. This is a living testament to the strong relations that the two countries have always enjoyed, and demonstrates the importance of Australia as our leading tourism market. We are pleased to be able to provide the people of Canberra the only direct flights to Nadi, facilitating a seamless holiday experience which begins the moment they step onboard,” Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways’ chief executive and managing director said in a press statement.
Australia – Fiji ties
Australia and Fiji share strong bilateral ties. According to the Australian High Commission in Fiji,
there are more than 3,000 Australian companies that do business in Fiji, and close to 69,000 people who were born in Fiji now live in Australia
Fiji is also one of the top holiday destinations for Australians, with Australians representing the largest number of visitor arrivals to Fiji.
Australia is also Fiji’s largest bilateral development assistance donor. In 2021, Australia contributed AU 83.5 million ($55.83 million) to the Government of Fiji’s social protection measures through its COVID-19 recovery package.
The Australian government’s 2022-23 budget includes AU 1.9 billion ($1.27 billion) in foreign aid for the Pacific, which includes AU 88 million ($58.4 million) for Fiji.
Aside from being the nation’s capital, Canberra is also Australia’s seat of government, where agencies like the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), regularly send foreign aid to Fiji.