FJ business development manager, Kate Adams, says the airline is the first in the South Pacific to take delivery of the new generation aircraft, and Wellington will be its first destination. Adams said the new plane comes with a lower carbon footprint, quieter engines and is extremely fuel efficient. Cabin features include leather seating and particularly large overhead compartments. Starting from December (the exact date to be confirmed), the new 737 MAX will replace the airline’s older B737 on the twice weekly direct WLG/NAN route. Adams also talked up the airline’s networks that she says extend from one side of the Pacific Rim to the other. The new Tokyo connection through Nadi was well timed for the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, she added.
Cameron Taylor, Tourism Fiji trade partnerships manager, thanked the 60 participating agents for their part in ramping up visitor numbers to Fiji. ‘Fiji has had a fantastic year. In the past 12 months New Zealanders travelling to Fiji were up 12%. This wouldn’t be possible without your fantastic support in promoting our amazing product and diverse regions.’ Taylor also announced the Matai Mega Famil for Kiwi agents, to take place from 3-11 November. ‘There will be five itineraries, including for the first time ever a luxury programme, a response to the New Zealand market’s growing interest in luxury product. It’s really starting to boom.’ Famil registrations close on 20 September. Only Matai Specialist Agents are eligible and Taylor urged anyone who hadn’t yet done so to complete four modules on matai.fiji.travel to become eligible.
Sixteen Fiji Tourism industry partners have been touring with the roadshow, taking in Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton, Auckland and Auckland’s North Shore. A total of 380 travel and wholesale agents registered to attend the events that wrapped up last night. Matthew Stoeckel, Tourism Fiji chief executive officer, says as Fiji’s second biggest tourism source market, New Zealand remains important. ‘It is essential that Tourism Fiji continues to inform and upskill our New Zealand trade partners, through forums such as the annual roadshow, to ensure they are well placed to sell destination Fiji.’
– Kathy Ombler