Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Fiji Airways to begin replacing 737s with MAXs, widebodies

Fiji Airways plans to begin replacing its Boeing 737s with newer versions later this year, and is also evaluating wide-body replacements.

The airline said its first 737-8 is scheduled to arrive in November, with a second expected in December. The remainder of its five orders will come in 2019. These aircraft are slated to replace Fiji Airways’ current fleet of four 737-800s and one -700.

The -8s will serve short-haul markets in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere in the South Pacific, the carrier said. The new aircraft are subject to a sale-leaseback agreement with GE Capital Aviation Services.

In its earnings report for 2017, Fiji Airways also said it has started “an evaluation campaign to select a wide-body jet aircraft type to augment and/or replace existing Airbus A330 fleet.” The airline operates three A330-200s and one A330-300.

Fiji Airways Group reported a pre-tax profit of F$95.8 million ($47 million) in 2017, up from F$84.5 million in the previous year. This was a record for the carrier, and its fourth successive annual pre-tax profit.

The airline is majority owned by the Fijian government. It increased annual revenues by 12.5% to F$929 million, with passenger numbers increasing by 14.3% year-on-year.

(Adrian Schofield - ATWOnline News)

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