Fiji’s national carrier Air Pacific has redeployed a B747-400 that used to serve Los Angeles to fly on its Nadi-Hong Kong route, which was previously serviced by a B767-300ER that has retired after flying its last flight on January 15. The frequency will be adjusted from thrice to twice weekly, departing Nadi at 0900 every Thursday and Saturday and arriving in Hong Kong at 1450. The return leg takes off at 1630 the same day to return to Fiji at 0740 the following day.
As the jumbo jet is a bigger plane, the move will result in 150 more seats being offered every week despite a lower frequency. Each flight now offers 28 business class (Tabua) seats and 430 in the economy (versus 18 and 238 respectively on the B767).
But the flight time readjustment is an interim measure. The airline is awaiting the delivery of its three A330-200s, and in as little as 18 months, the new aircraft will be serving the Hong Kong route that was launched in December 2009 as a strategy to attract the potentially lucrative China market. According to the airline, more than 70 per cent of passengers on flights from Hong Kong are from the mainland.
According to a press release from Air Pacific last October, the A330 will be equipped with improved cabin seats and in-flight entertainment, with the optimised 222-inch wide fuselage being able accommodate more passengers and cargo than the B767. By then, the frequency may also be back to three times weekly, if the number of Chinese visitors increases as the carrier hopes.
Cathay Pacific is Air Pacific’s codeshare partner in Hong Kong, providing ground support.
For more information, visit www.airpacific.com.