Fiji refits fleet

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SUVA, FIJI, 24 November 2016: Fiji Airways announced on Wednesday it had ordered five new Boeing 737s — reportedly worth USD470 million — as part of a fleet upgrade programme at the Pacific nation’s flag carrier.

The airline said it would take delivery of two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft next year and three more in 2018 to replace five earlier-model 737s currently operating.

It did not reveal the cost of the deal but local media reports put the price at FJD1.0 billion (USD470 million).

inside no 9“This is a major capital decision that had to be done correctly, so we followed a rigorous, thorough and transparent process to find the right solution,” chief executive Andre Viljoen said.

Fiji Airways has a fleet of 15 aircraft made by a range of manufacturers, including Airbus and Boeing, and began a replacement programme in 2013.

The Fiji government, which owns a majority stake in the airline, said the new planes would give it one of the youngest fleets in the Asia-Pacific region.

“(It) means not only lower operating costs and a smaller carbon footprint but a level of comfort and service for the travelling public,” Civil Aviation Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said that under the deal, Boeing would help Fiji Airlines establish a flight simulator school, making the country an aviation training hub in the Pacific.

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