Air Pacific Limited, Fiji’s international airline, operates international and domestic services around the Pacific and to North America and Hong Kong. It is also a partner with the frequent flyer programmes of Qantas, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines. It has its head office at the Air Pacific Maintenance & Administration Centre in Nadi.
The airline was established and started operations in 1951. It was founded by Australian aviator Harold Gatty. Prior to 1971 the company operated as Fiji Airways. Air Pacific began service to the USA in 1983. Except for 2001, the airline has been profitable for every year from 1995 to 2004. Over 500,000 passengers were carried in 2004. The airline was responsible for starting the first ever scheduled international services to the capital of Australia, Canberra. While the service operated twice weekly for a number of months it is now suspended.
Air Pacific acquired Sun Air, a domestic airline, in 2007. This formed the basis for Pacific Sun, Air Pacific’s domestic and regional subsidiary.
Air Pacific is owned by the Fijian government (51%), Qantas (46.32%). Air New Zealand and the governments of Kiribati, Tonga, Nauru and Samoa each hold minor stakes. It employed 771 people as of March 2007.
In 2008 the airline decided to withdraw from the Japan market. The airline stated that it tried many schemes to re-stimulate demand from Japan, but did not find success.
Rebranding as Fiji Airways
In May 2012, the airline announced that it would revert to its original name of Fiji Airways, with rebranding to coincide with the delivery of the A330 aircraft in 2013. Fiji Airways’ new brandmark, a “Masi symbol that epitomises Fiji and enhances the new name of Fiji’s national carrier” was announced on August 17, 2012.The airline’s new brand identity and colour scheme were fully revealed on October 10, 2012, in conjunction with Fiji Day. The official launch of the new brand took place on June 27, 2013, under Chairman Nalin Patel and Acting CEO Aubrey Swift. By this point, two A330 aircraft had been delivered, and two of four 737 aircraft had received refreshed interiors and new Fiji Airways paint.
In 2013, Fiji Airways held a competition to rename Fiji’s domestic airline Pacific Sun. In August 2014 Fiji Link began operating servicing 11 Domestic and 4 International routes.