Fiji Airways plans to resume flights to Japan from July 2018 after a nine-year absence with nonstop services to Tokyo Narita.
The new flights commence on July 3 next year and will operate three times a week with Airbus A330-200/300 equipment, Fiji Airways said on Wednesday.
It would be the first time Fiji Airways has flown to Japan since 2009, when the airline, then known as Air Pacific, ended nonstop Nadi-Tokyo Narita flights.
Fiji Airways chief executive Andre Viljoen said expanding the airline’s network to Tokyo Narita would support inbound tourism to Fiji.
“We are excited to share with Japan the untouched beauty of our 333 islands,” Viljoen said in a statement.
“We want to capitalise on the high interest in outbound travel from Japan, with an estimated 13.4 million Japanese residents travelling overseas so far this year.”
The flights will operate on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday and have been scheduled as an overnight service from Tokyo Narita arriving in Nadi in the morning, allowing convenient connections to neighbouring islands.
The Nadi-Tokyo Narita service departs in the afternoon, arriving in the Japanese capital in the early evening.
The airline has three A330-200s in its fleet which are configured with 24 angled lie-flat business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 249 seats in economy at eight abreast for a total of 273. There is also one A330-300, which has 313 seats spread across 24 in business and 289 in economy.
When the flights take off, Tokyo Narita will be Fiji Airways’ second destination in North Asia alongside Hong Kong.
The airline has also operated some charter services to China and Taiwan.
Fiji Attorney-General and Minister responsible for Civil Aviation Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the nonstop air link would bolster the relationship between the two countries.
“This opens a direct gateway between Fiji and the most populated metropolitan area in the world, and we expect the impact to go far beyond attracting more tourism to our shores,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“As Government works to further solidify Fiji as the go-to regional development hub for international businesses, investors and development organisations, this connection with Tokyo – a global financial centre and economic powerhouse that is home to dozens of Fortune Global 500 company headquarters – is an invaluable step in achieving our goal.”
While Fiji Airways is majority government owned, Qantas holds 46 per cent of the airline, while Air New Zealand has about two per cent. The governments of Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa and Nauru also each have a small stake in the airline formerly known as Air Pacific.
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival
FJ351 Nadi-Tokyo Narita
Tuesday, Friday, Sunday
FJ350 Tokyo Narita-Nadi
Tuesday, Friday, Sunday