Koya: Opening up Fiji’s skies not ruled out

Ajay Raniga (left) with Monika Hunter during a break at the Fiji Australia Business Forum at Marriott Resort Fiji Momi Bay. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

TOURISM Minister Faiyaz Koya says Government has not ruled out the possibility of opening up Fiji to increased flights by foreign carriers.

Speaking at the 2018 Fiji Australia Business Forum last Friday, he said while there were no immediate plans, the issue could be revisited if Fiji had the infrastructure to cope with increased visitors.

“We have a policy with respect to Fiji Airways, it’s all done very sustainably and I can say this because everybody knows this Fiji Airways is protected and we can’t actually do open skies, we have seen examples around the world where airlines have been shutdown.

“Fiji Airways is actually a phenomenal entity, at the moment it has done extremely well and in terms of more air services, extra flights etcetera, they are always looking at it,” he said.

He reminded Australian and Fijian business executives at the forum that discussions on increasing flights were done in an integrated manner in Fiji. “The way its done here is a concerted effort between Government, Fiji Airways, Tourism Fiji and all tourism stakeholders.

“So we have to keep it sustainable, we cannot simply say ‘let’s go ahead and have open skies if we don’t necessarily have the infrastructure to cope with the numbers.”

“It’s not a no, I’m not saying we won’t open up services more hotels need to be built, there are quite a few that are being built already and as the numbers grow we will revisit the position afterwards.”