Airline considers transporting passengers

Fiji Airways aircraft at Nadi International Airport. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Fiji Airways is looking at allowing passengers to travel aboard their weekly cargo flights.

Speaking at the Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry business forum recently, airline CEO and managing director Andre Viljoen said there were challenges associated with allowing passengers to board the flights.

“We now have 10 a week and these flights are only carrying cargo and we are looking to maybe add some passengers,” he said.

“These would be Fijians wishing to come to Fiji or foreigners wishing to go home.

“It is a challenging thing for us because the moment that we do that, all of the crew has to quarantine.

“So we have avoided that until now but we are getting constant pressure to say that there are people that want to move and add them to the cargo flights.

“So we are considering that right now.”

Mr Viljoen said the cargo flights were not bringing in revenue for the airline.

“We run them provided that they break even.

“The reason they do not make money is because they are passenger flights so we add cargo as a subsidiary operation.

“We are now running a passenger aircraft that are empty of passengers, just with cargo and the type of rates that you can charge is not going to cover all of the costs.

“So we look to only cover the operating costs and we are managing with that and breaking even.”

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