Ahead of the launch of flights from Canberra to Fiji next week, strong demand from holidaymakers looking for a South Pacific getaway has prompted Fiji Airways to add another flight day from October.
Fiji Airways announced in April that it would launch a direct route from Canberra to Nadi International Airport on 21 July, initially operating on Tuesday and Friday.
But such has been the response from Canberra travellers that it has decided to add a Sunday service from October.
There was an immediate rush for tickets when the airline launched the service at Canberra Airport in April, and that demand has continued.
The big response was partly due to the introductory fare offer of $499 return but also down to appetite from travellers using Fiji as a connection point to the rest of the world.
Fiji Airways also operates direct flights from Nadi to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Vancouver, offering seamless connections to North America.
Canberra Airport said return fares were now as cheap as $539.
Managing Director Stephen Byron welcomed the extra flight from October.
“The strong forward bookings for flights to Fiji is a clear indicator of the demand for international travel from Canberra,” he said.
“We are excited to relaunch our international operations and thank Fiji Airways for their strong show of support for the nation’s capital.”
The Fiji Airways announcement in April was significant for Canberra Airport because it meant it was back in the international game, as it waits for the return of Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways to the national capital, and the possible opening up of other destinations such as New Zealand.
Fiji Airways CEO and Managing Director Andre Viljoen said the route expansion was a testament to the continuous demand for travel to Fiji and its commitment to providing exceptional service, including convenient connections to long-haul destinations.
“We look forward to welcoming more and more Canberra residents on board, where they will experience the renowned warmth and hospitality that Fiji Airways is known for,” he said.
In April, Fiji Deputy Prime Minister Viliame Gavoka said the delivery of new aircraft presented the opportunity to expand the number of services to Australia, with Canberra becoming the airline’s 22nd international destination.
He committed to the airline being in Canberra for the long haul.
As well as Fiji offering a South Pacific winter destination to Canberrans, there was also strong demand for Fijians to visit Australia, he said.
Fiji Airways will use its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.