As of June 27th, 2013, Air Pacific will officially become Fiji Airways. And this isn’t just a new name on the same ol’ fleet, like many airlines tend to do. It’s an extreme makeover with a new A330 fleet proudly displaying its namesake and a Masi design on the tail, logo and pillows, created by Makereta Matemosi, a celebrated local Fijian Masi* artist.
It also signifies a reclaiming, not just in name but also in ownership. The country of Fiji and its citizens will be the majority owners (51 percent) – truly a national airline.
As one of a handful of journalists and dignitaries, we got to “deliver” one of the new Fiji Airways planes to its home in Nadi, Fiji. And it was a special flight for many reasons, beyond ‘the new car smell and being the first to germ-up the place’ as Lanee said. We got to fly business class, hang out in the COCKPIT (!) with Chief Pilot Josh Cavalevu, dance/do yoga in the aisles because 3/4 of the plane was empty and be a part of our first ‘aerial parade’. The aerial parade consisted of flying low (900 feet at some points!) over remote Fiji islands, like Lau and Maolo, for villagers to get a glimpse.
Here’s a sneak peek of Fiji Airways new plane and it’s homecoming party at Nadi International Airport:
Fiji Airways will move to six flights between Los Angeles and Nadi in July, and daily flights by November. The Air Pacific Boeing fleet, the “old ladies”, as one Air Pacific flight attendant called them, will be phased out entirely by the end of this year.
More Fiji Airways Articles & Photos
Like we mentioned, we travel with a handful of stellar journalists, and here’s what they had to say about Fiji Airways:
Bula Fiji Airways by Shelly Seale
Flying a Special A330 Fiji Airways Flight by Jason Rabinowitz
Hello Fiji Airways by Devin Galaudet
Goodbye Air Pacific, Bula Fiji Airways by Lindsay Taub
*Masi fabric is made from the bark of Mulberry trees and then decorated with symbolic designs made of plant-based dyes.