THE unveiling of Fiji's national airline to its 1951 name, Fiji Airways, marked a new journey for the company last night in Suva as dignitaries and invited guests witnessed a world premier event that also featured a screening of its newly-acquired Airbus A330s.
Speaking to The Fiji Times yesterday, Air Pacific managing director and chief executive officer David Pflieger said the new name would become effective in May 2013 as the airline enters this transition phase.
"Air Pacific has been out there for 31 years and that's a good time to give a brand a chance — but it didn't resonate with the flying public and people outside of this part of the world. Even close by in Australia and New Zealand, (the flying public) didn't know who we were or where we flew.
"We're a destination airline so we want to get the name of the airline back — it'll be a new name that will see us succeed and grow."
Mr Pflieger said they expected as many as 500 people to turn up for the inaugural event at Village Six cinemas and with Suva being the hub of the South Pacific, the event attracted people from all backgrounds.
"Suva is the nerve centre of Fiji. Typically we're always doing things in Nadi but we thought Suva was the fantastic place to do this and be part of the nation's (Independence Day) celebration," he said.
Meanwhile, the rebranding of the airline would also mean new opportunities and projects in the long-run including better services, employment and training for staff.