As Fiji Airways historically marks its 70th anniversary, the Fijian national carrier has confirmed plans to welcome back international travellers in time for Christmas. What a cracker of a festive birthday party that will be.
The good news is that as a nation, Fiji has been rapidly rolling out vaccinations and is on track to have the entire working population fully vaccinated by November.
Similarly, Fiji Airways’ staff are now 97% fully vaccinated, with the entire workforce expected to reach the milestone by the end of October. All customer-facing Fiji Airways staff are already fully vaccinated.
While there is no confirmed date for when Australia plans to relax international border restrictions, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said that 80 per cent double dose vaccinations will allow the state to look at international travel options.
Fiji Airways Managing Director & CEO Mr Andre Viljoen welcomed the news and believes Fiji and its national carrier is on track to be the world leader when it comes to COVID-Safe travel.
“Come the 17th December, Fiji Airways will be ready to welcome Aussies back to our home, reuniting families and enjoying vacations. Should the opportunity arise for an early travel bubble between Australia and Fiji based on vaccination rates, rest assured we’re ready to fly you there,” said Mr Viljoen.
“We’re on track. We’re the only airline in the Australia-Pacific region, and one of only a handful in the world, to achieve a Skytrax 5-Star COVID safety rating, as well as the highest “DIAMOND” or Hospital Grade certification for APEX Health Safety powered by Simplifying.
“As of today, Fiji has a higher vaccination rate than Australia and is on target to have the entire working population vaccinated by November. This is an incredible achievement and puts us on track to be the most COVID-Safe holiday destination in the world. Ultimately, when Aussies are looking for COVID-safe travel we want Fiji to be the ‘vacci-nation’ of choice.”
“Our flight schedules will be released immediately following an official announcement by the Government which outlines border requirements and travel framework. One of these will undoubtedly be that visitors must be fully vaccinated, a position Fiji Airways strongly supports,” added Mr Viljoen.
“As we celebrate our 70th birthday, the best present we could receive is the knowledge that in the near future we’ll welcome our Australian guests back onboard our aircraft with a big Fijian Bula,” he said.
Speaking about Fiji’s vaccination push and the arrival revival of visitors to Fiji, newly-appointed CEO of Tourism Fiji, Brent Hill said, “We are seeing incredible progress on Fiji’s vaccination rates with over 95% of the eligible population receiving a single dose and over 45% fully vaccinated (as of 30th August).
“This successful vaccine programme rollout allows us to proactively plan re-opening Fiji towards the end of the year.
“With Australia being Fiji’s largest single market, it’s very exciting to see airlines like Fiji Airways and Qantas announcing plans for vaccinated travellers to return to our shores.
“Tourism Fiji is actively working with all its industry partners for visitors to come back and be immersed in the Bula spirit that we are known for,” he said.
Fiji Airways is on track to complete its return to the commercial flying programme, internally termed “Fly Ready.”
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