Vancouver Bound: Fiji Airways To Start Canada Flights In November

Chilled Canadians chasing some warmth and sunshine will soon have a new escape route with Fiji Airways beginning flights between Vancouver and Nadi in late November – just ahead of Canada’s winter. Vancouver will become Fiji Airway’s most northerly outpost, and with its striking livery, the will surely become one of Vancouver Airport’s head-turning customers.

New northerly horizons for Fiji Airways

Announced in Fiji on Tuesday evening, the twice-weekly flights will start on November 25, with Fiji Airways also running a one-off promotional flight in early August. Fiji Airways will service the route with their two-cabin class Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Operating every Friday and Monday from late November, FJ880 will leave Nadi (NAN) at 22:15 and fly north through the night to land in Vancouver (YVR) at 13:20 on the same calendar day. Departing Vancouver at 21:40 every Friday and Thursday, FJ881 is also an overnight flight, arriving into Nadi two calendar days later at 05:30.


“This is a very exciting development as we continue to explore ways to maximize returns not just for Fiji Airways but for the tourism industry and the Fijian economy. Canada represents a new market with immense potential for tourism, trade, and of course, re-connecting Fijian families,” said Fiji Airways Chief Executive Officer Andre Viljoen. “Canada has always been a very important tourism market for us, and introducing this direct flights and services will undoubtedly drive an increase in tourism to Fiji.”

Network growth on the agenda at Fiji Airways

Mr Viljoen had recently flagged introducing some new international routes. In early May, in comments to the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation, the CEO said while he was focusing on recovery, bookings were growing strongly across the network and that he was eyeing new destinations. Two months later, that recovery has continued unabated, and Fiji Airways is in a position to chase new markets.

“Returning to the skies doesn’t just mean resuming existing routes. If we are to strengthen ourselves and grow as a business, we must invest in new markets and solidify our networks. Vancouver was the ideal choice for us,” said Mr Viljoen.

Fiji Airways will use the Airbus A330-200 (pictured) on the Nadi-Vancouver route. Photo: Airbus

Fiji Airways will use the Airbus A330-200 on the Vancouver flights

But it’s not all beer and skittles. There is a caveat: Fiji Airways is not deploying its most up-to-date flagship planes onto this new route. Instead of the A350-900s with their tip-top cabins, the airline will send their older and less-up-to-date Airbus A330-200s to Vancouver. It’s still a nice plane but doesn’t have Fiji Airway’s latest seats or latest look.

That difference will be felt most by the passengers choosing to fly up the front where the 2-2-2 business class cabin with its angle-flat beds compares unfavorably with 1-2-1 lie-flat beds available on the A350-900s. But passengers in the economy class cabin (and that’s most passengers) may prefer the older A330s.

Economy-class seating on the A330-200 is in a 2-4-2 layout, which many favor over the 3-3-3 layout onboard the A350-900. Ultimately, Fiji Airways carefully considers where to deploy its planes. On an anticipated economy class-focused tourist-heavy route like NAN – YVR, the A330-200 may be a better match. The top-of-the-line A350s can be lept for flights to destinations like Sydney and Los Angeles, where there is more premium traffic.

And regardless of what kind of plane you fly on, Fiji AIrways’ traditionally excellent inflight service and family-friendly flight attendants doesn’t change. If a week or two in Fiji appeals, there is also some pretty good introductory pricing on the YVR – NAN route available for sale right now.

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