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Fiji aviation market: Fiji Airways adds fifth A330 and renews 737 fleet. Needs to justify protection

Fiji Airways is accelerating expansion with the acquisition of a fifth widebody aircraft. The airline plans to take delivery of an additional A330-200 in mid-2018, enabling the airline to launch services to Tokyo Narita in Jul-2018.

Narita will become Fiji Airways’ fifth long haul destination after Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Singapore. San Francisco and Singapore were launched in 2016 as the airline added a fourth A330.

Capacity expansion across Fiji Airways’ short and medium haul network is also planned for late 2018 and early 2019, as Fiji Airways replaces its five 737NGs with five higher density 737 MAX 8s. The airline expects to achieve 8% to 10% growth in 2018, and an even higher rate of growth is likely for 2019.

Fiji’s tourism industry will benefit, since Fiji Airways already accounts for more than 70% of Fiji’s international capacity. But as this role depends heavily on the government's regulatory protection from competition, the question needs continually to be asked whether protecting the flag carrier offsets the inevitable reduction of inbound tourism. It is again time for reviewing that equation.

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