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Airlines & Airports

 April 14, 2014
Fiji Airways Reports Group Profit Of $14.5 Million In 2013 Transition Year

 Air Pacific Group has announced its financial results for the nine-month period ending December 31, 2013, a stub financial year for Fiji's national airline.

Air Pacific Group changed its 2013 financial year to reflect the calendar year following a Board decision. The prior financial year was from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013.

Mr. Nalin Patel, Chairman, Board of Directors of Air Pacific Limited, trading as Fiji Airways, has stated that the Group, which comprises Fiji Airways, Pacific Sun, its wholly owned subsidiary, and a 38.75% stake in Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa on Denarau Island, made a profit over the nine-month 2013 financial year.

Air Pacific Group reported an operating profit before income tax of $14.2 million for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2013, compared to an operating profit before income tax of $22.4 million for the preceding twelve month period ending March 31, 2013.

On a net basis, the Group reported an after tax profit of $14.5 million for the nine-month period compared to $17.8 million for the preceding 12-month period. Over the nine months, performance was driven by a 2.5% increase in passenger numbers and an additional revenue of 1.0% (hence a slight yield decrease of -1.5% due to the competitive environment particularly between the U.S. and Australia markets.

Mr. Patel notes, "The year of 2013 was a major transition period for Fiji Airways. We rebranded to Fiji Airways in a nod to our heritage and our home, and the new brand continues to win awards and accolades for us. Furthermore, we retired our long serving B747 aircraft and added more efficient A330 wide-body aircraft. Updating and expanding our Fiji Airways fleet accounted for more than $14 million in one-time transition expenses in the 2013 financial year, increasing our financial costs by $33.6 million."

"We also welcomed Mr. Stefan Pichler as the new Managing Director and CEO to lead Fiji Airways to the next level. For the Board, this means confidence in further growth of the airline's fleet, network, staff, services, and sustainable profitability as well as increased returns to the shareholders in the years ahead. I am confident that our dedicated team will deliver while remaining true to the Airline's roots and focusing on its key principles of enhanced levels of safety, reliability and operational excellence."

Stefan Pichler comments, "Our recently approved Five Year Master Plan sets the foundation for sustainable and profitable growth between now and the end of 2017. It's an incredibly exciting time for us, as we get ready to bring in new aircraft thereby growing our fleet by 25%. We have announced new routes and strengthened our South Pacific network. We're pursuing new airline partnerships and working more closely with our current allies, including our business partners in the travel trade and in cargo. Our operational performance over the last six months has been improving significantly, with an average on-time performance of 82.5% for Fiji Airways and 92.7% for Pacific Sun, soon to be rebranded to Fiji Link."

"We will ensure that our staff, shareholders, and customers benefit from our future success. I would like to personally thank every single one of our 1,009 team members as we look forward to exciting times."

Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Kahiyum, Fijian Attorney General and Minister for Public Enterprises, expressed that not long ago, few believed the Airline would survive.

"The Fijian Government acted decisively to save the Airline by ensuring dynamic management and instituting financial discipline that have led to job security and job growth," states Mr. Sayed-Kahiyum. "It is through the collaboration of the Fijian Government, the Fiji Airways Board, and the staff that our national airline now has a very strong and firm footing for the future."

Highlights of FY2013 (April 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013) include:

- Relaunch of the airline as Fiji Airways and introduction of new aircraft, uniforms and on-board products;
- Induction of two brand new A330s into the fleet;
- Decision to rebrand Pacific Sun to Fiji Link in mid-2014;
- Development of our Five Year Master Plan to strengthen the airline and increase operating profits through a larger fleet, more seat capacity, and a larger network;
- Release of new schedules, including Suva-Sydney, Suva-Apia, and Nadi-Honiara direct flight services as well as more frequent flights from Fiji to Hong Kong, Christchurch and Funafuti (Tuvalu);
- A new lease arrangement for a brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft for Pacific Sun;
- A new cargo interline agreement with Emirates SkyCargo;
- And various awards and accolades earned for our new brand aircraft livery.

Fiji Airways

Founded in 1951, Fiji Airways is the national airline of Fiji. It aims to become the airline of choice of the South Pacific, and the purchase and introduction of three new re-branded ‘Fiji Airways' Airbus A330-200s to replace its fleet of Boeing B747-400s and B767s will be the capstone of the airline's success and turnaround from record losses just 3 years ago. From its hub at Nadi International Airport, Fiji Airways and its subsidiary Pacific Sun fly to 15 cities in 10 countries. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand, USA, Hong Kong, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu, and Solomon Islands. Fiji Airways aircraft bring in over 64 percent of all visitors who fly to Fiji, and the two companies together employ over 900 employees, earn revenues of over F$675 million ($380m USD), and directly contribute a significant portion of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Fiji Airways rebranded from Air Pacific in June 2013.