Qantas is giving travellers between Australia and Fiji a new non-stop option on March 31 with the return of direct flights between Sydney and Nadi after an absence of close to 20 years.

The service adds to those operated by its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar and means travellers will now have the option of flying business class between the two cities.

Flights are scheduled to operate four days per week on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays using the airline’s Boeing 737 aircraft. Flight QF101 departs Sydney at 1030 and arrives in Nadi at 1630, while the return QF102 leaves Fiji at 1735 and lands back at Sydney at 2000.

“We have built flexibility into our network to respond to growing demand where we see it,” said Qantas International CEO, Alison Webster. “In this case, it’s a return to Fiji after almost 20 years, a short four-hour hop from Sydney, helping extend the summer for Australians year-round.”

Having a mix of flights operated by both mainline carrier Qantas and budget airline Jetstar means travellers will have “more options to a destination which caters to different budgets and tastes”, Webster added.

For passengers travelling in business class, Qantas’s 737s offer 12 seats across three rows laid out in a 2-2 configuration. These products are furnished in soft leather and offer a pitch of 37 inches and a width of 22 inches – a good seven inches more legroom and nearly five inches more width than seats in the economy cabin.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific recently reviewed Qantas’s business class product and service on board its 737-800 flying from Melbourne to Sydney.

Flight review: Qantas Boeing 737-800 business class

Along with its own service in March, Qantas is also to begin codesharing on Jetstar-operated flights on the route from February 1 onwards, giving members of Qantas’s Frequent Flyer programme the ability to earn and redeem miles and status credits even when travelling on the budget airline’s flights.

Meanwhile, as of last month Fiji Airways has officially joined Oneworld as the alliance’s first Oneworld Connect partner. This is a new scheme designed to allow airlines that are unable to meet the full membership criteria, but whose networks are relevant to a subset of Oneworld’s member carriers, to join the alliance as a partial member.

Fiji Airways’ joining the alliance as a Oneworld Connect partner has meant that Qantas, a full Oneworld member, is able to take advantage of the former’s network, which includes Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa.

Premium members of Qantas’s Frequent Flyer Club are also able to get priority check-in and boarding when travelling on Fiji Airways flights, as well as lounge access.

For great tips on what to see and explore in Fiji, read our feature “Time Out in Fiji”.