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Fiji Airways - the small airline making big bucks

Keeping operations small and tight are paying off for Fiji Airways, which reported a profit before income tax of $62.5 million for the nine months to December last year.

Keeping operations small and tight are paying off for Fiji Airways, which reported a profit before income tax of $62.5 million for the nine months to December last year.

It is the airline’s highest-ever operating profit and is a major increase from the $8.3 million profit made during the first nine months to December last year.

After tax profit of $55.6 million was also two times better than the best operating profit achieved in the airline’s history and well above the $8.7 million made during the nine-month period ending 31 December 2013.

Fiji Airways

And if that’s not incredible enough, the airline made all that money with only seven jets, three Airbus aircraft and four single aisle Boeing aircraft.

The fleet is more than half the size of some of its major competitors such as Virgin Australia, which last week reported a profit before tax of $10.2 million for the second half of 2014 – a rise from the loss of $45.4 million during the corresponding period the prior year. Read on

Fiji Airways Chairman Nalin Patel said the company is delighted by the result, which he says was achieved through hard work.

“All of the key business and financial metrics outperformed the previous financial year, with passenger numbers, load factor and average fares all improving significantly, coupled with growth in line with productivity levels of the best global airlines.”

Nalin Patel, Fiji Airways Chairman

In terms of passenger numbers, the airline saw a 4.5 percent increase compared to the previous year, flying 1.2 million passengers in 2014.

Load factor is also up by 8.2 percent to 83 percent and average fare increased by 2.7 percent.

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Fiji Airways plans to reward staff for assisting in this year’s profits.

So what does Fiji Airways plan to do with all the cash?

The airline certainly doesn’t need to spend the cash on a makeover, because its 2013 rebrand has contributed to its growing success.

Last year, Fiji Airways’ boss Stefan Pichler told KarryOn that in 2015 the airline plans to expand its fleet with two new aircraft, including another Boeing 737 and an Airbus A330. Read on

This year, the airline’s employees will also benefit from the profits, with plans to offer all eligible Fiji Airways and Fiji Link managers a Management Bonus of $7,000 each, subject to tax and superannuation deductions as required.

In addition, non-management staff for both airlines already stand to earn quarterly KPI-related bonuses of up to $1,200 per year, on achievement of key business objectives.

All eligible non-management staff of Fiji Airways and Fiji Link (835 in total) will also receive a profit-share payout of $3,000 each, subject to tax and superannuation deductions as required.

“Credit must be given to all our hard-working and dedicated staff. It’s extremely important that they share in the success of our company. The profit share and bonus programme is testament to our commitment to our people.”

Nalin Patel, Fiji Airways Chairman

Congratulations Fiji Airways on a successful year.