Chinese airlines keen to fly to Fiji

MINISTER for Aviation Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says there is a need to protect Fiji Airways routes.

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, the Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General revealed Chinese airlines had expressed interest in flying to Fiji, but they also wanted onward rights to pick passengers along the way.

He said this would “cannibalise” Fiji Airways routes.

He said they had received similar offers from other airlines as well.

“This will essentially cannibalise Fiji Airways routes and we have to protect Fiji Airways routes,” he said.

“We’ve had similar offers as well. Emirates wanted to do Dubai, Sydney, Nadi,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“Given that we are a small airline company, we need to position ourselves to fly to basically, hubs.”

He said Fiji Airways would be adding two interim A330 200 series aircraft to their fleet this year on short-term leases for four years.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum clarified Fiji Airways had decided to lease the aircraft to give them time to make a decision on which aircraft to purchase.

“This of course gives us that opportunity in the meantime to make the right decisions about which aircraft we are going to buy in particular with the further white bodied aircrafts whether we are going to go with the A350s or the 787s.”