Posts tagged Airbus A330

Bainimarama Welcomes Pride of Namuka-I-Lau Aircraft – A330

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today welcomed the arrival of Fiji’s second A330 Fiji Airways aircraft at the Nadi International Airport.

As a tribute to Makareta Vatemosi, the designer behind the masi motifs that now feature as the official logo for Fiji airways, the new A330 is named after her village Namuka-i-Lau.

In welcoming the new aircraft, the Prime Minister paid tribute to her work.

“Like every Fijian, I was tremendously impressed and inspired by her creation. How wonderful that this is the image of Fiji that these new planes will take to airports around the world. How wonderful that Makareta’s creation has been hailed as brilliant by so many design experts around the world.

Makareta, vinaka vakalevu. You did us proud. You did your country proud and you did your home island proud”.

The Prime Minister said that new flight services provided through the A330 aircrafts is expected to boost visitor numbers to the country.

“As I’ve said before, my Government encourages competition as the best way to keep airfares affordable for ordinary people. But that doesn’t stop me from urging every Fijian to support their national airline, to keep their dollars in Fiji and safeguard the jobs of Fijian workers,” PM Bainimarama said.

“With these new planes, Fiji Airways gains a new ability to compete against its rivals.

“Now that the second is here, the airline will be starting its A330 service to Sydney in a couple of weeks, to add to those already operating to Auckland, Brisbane and Hong Kong. And soon, the new aircraft will begin flying to Los Angeles, with extra services coming on stream later in the year when the third and final Airbus arrives and our 747s are retired.”

The Prime Minister was joined by other government officials including officials from the private sector at the receiving ceremony for the new aircraft.

Prime Minister Bainimarama to Receive Second Fiji Airways Airbus

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, will travel to France on Monday at the invitation of Airbus and Air Pacific to receive the second of the new Fiji Airways Airbus A330s.

The plane – which has been named Namuka-i-Lau – will be formally handed over at a ceremony at the Airbus factory in Toulouse later in the week.

Namuka-i-Lau is the home island of the designer of the new Fiji Airways masi insignia, Makareta Matemosi.

It was at the Prime Minister’s suggestion that the second Airbus carry the name of her island as a tribute to the quality of her work, which has been acclaimed by international design experts.

The aircraft will be making its delivery flight to Fiji via Los Angeles to enable the airline to hold a promotional event for the US tourism industry.

The event – at Los Angeles International Airport LAX – will take place on Tuesday, May 21st.

Namuka-i-Lau will then cross the Pacific for an arrival welcome function at Nadi Airport on Thursday, May 23rd.

The Prime Minister will return separately to Fiji after the handover ceremony on Monday, May 20th in time to receive the aircraft

Fiji PM Bainimarama Says New Airbus Will Be the Pride of Fiji’s Fleet

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama Visits Airbus Factory in Toulouse

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s Fiji Day Speech on Air Pacific’s Transformation to Fiji Airways

My fellow Fijians:

On this, our Independence Day, I can think of nothing that symbolises our nation’s independence more than our national airline.

It carries our flag and the renowned hospitality of our people to some of the great cities of our region – Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong.

And now it will carry our nation’s name, as Air Pacific becomes Fiji Airways next year.

It is a matter for great national pride to have our own airline bearing the name of our nation, carrying Fijians to the world and global visitors to our shores.

We regard Air Pacific as an essential industry because it is. And not just to our economy, which depends on the visitors it brings to our country.

It is essential to the sense of pride and independence that we are celebrating on this day.

I happen to be one of the many Fijians old enough to remember the original Fiji Airways and the small planes that used to rumble across our skies.

The airline was founded in the early 1950s by Harold Gatty – the Australian aviation pioneer – and was our first rapid link to many of our islands within Fiji and then to our neighbours.

The first Fiji Airways flight was between Suva and Lautoka in 1951. Now, we think nothing of flying to the US, Hong Kong or Australia.

The first Fiji Airways plane was made largely of canvass – a De Havilland Rapide – and the pilot used a compass to get his bearings.

Next year, we start taking delivery of three giant Airbuses that fly by computer and navigate using satellites.

The child in all of us thrills at the advances in aviation in our lifetimes. The Fijian in all of us thrills at the idea that our own airline will soon carry our name to the great cities of the Asia Pacific.

The airline business is notoriously cutthroat and the airlines of many of our island neighbours have fallen victim along the way.

It is a cause for great national pride that Fiji’s is still flying and I want to say a few words tonight about why Air Pacific is still in the air when others are not.

Running a successful airline these days is all about being as efficient as possible, maximising yields, seizing opportunities and keeping a ruthless eye on costs.

When my Government took office, Air Pacific badly needed reforming. We especially had to run the company more efficiently, free up its labour market, and alter certain workpractices.

It was a difficult exercise, but we took the hard decisions necessary to keep Air Pacific in the air and its workers in their jobs.

I want to pay special tribute tonight to the management team led by Dave Pfleiger, an American citizen who we have come to regard as an honorary Fijian for his dedication and skill. Vakalevu Dave.

Assisted by the board of directors chaired by Nalin Patel, Air Pacific has risen to new heights. Air Pacific has turned an alarming loss into a highly encouraging profit and given a lesson in efficiency to airlines many times its size.

I also want to pay tribute to the men and women who keep Air Pacific in the air – the pilots, cabin crew, maintenance workers, support staff, baggage handlers, reservations staff – all of the people needed to keep a great airline flying.

You do our airline proud and you do our nation proud and we thank you all for your service.

The reform process at Air Pacific has been a long journey. But you have faced the challenges with courage and fortitude. No jobs have been lost. In fact, more will be added as our new aircraft start coming on stream next year. And for the first time, those reforms include a profit sharing scheme for airline staff.

The harder you work and the more successful the new Fiji Airways becomes, the more you will earn. This is the most basic of workers’ rights, to obtain a fair share of any company’s profits. And this is what our reforms are delivering.

Tonight, we celebrate the launch of the new Fiji Airways and unveil how its new planes will look.

It’s a matter of great pride to me that the design came from within Fiji, by a woman named Makareta Matemosi. Her masi design will be emblazoned on state-of-the-art jets landing at airports across the Asia Pacific. Vinakavakalevu Makareta for creating a design that all Fijians can be proud of.

Finally, I want to say something to the most important people of all – the customers of the new Fiji Airways. My government supports competition. You always have achoice when it comes to deciding which airline you fly.  But as your Prime Minister, I appeal to you to consider making the new Fiji Airways your first choice whenever you travel.

It is our national airline. It belongs largely to us. It is a symbol of our nation and its determination to succeed.  Fly the airline with the masi on it.

I wish the new Fiji Airways, all who fly on it, and my fellow Fijians the very best on this historic day.

Thank you. Vinaka vakalevu.