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Virgin Australia: Fiji in December anyone?

Virgin Australia: Fiji in December anyone?

Fiji is one of my favourite destinations. At around 4 hours out of Sydney, it takes less than half the time than reaching say Bangkok. And when you get there, you get that fabulous ‘Bulla!’ service. It might not be as attentive and super polished as you get in Thailand, but the warmth and love you get in Fiji are pretty relaxing and intoxicating.

a flower bed in front of a building
Nadi Airport

Virgin Australia schedules first international route to Fiji

ET is reporting that Virgin Australia is re-instating regular flights to Nadi from Sydney and Brisbane from 23 December, and from Melbourne on 24 December, with prices starting at AU$334 for their newly minted ‘seat only’ Economy Lite fares. Now, in summer you could get away with just carry-on – if it’s just swimming togs and T-Shirts you are happy to survive with. At non Summer times – the evenings in Fiji can require a wrap.

Qantas is also scheduling flights in December.

a group of people walking on a beach
Intercontinental Fiji

This will be the first route on the swing back to short-haul international services promised by CEO Jayne Hrdlicka once international borders are open, and the first non-domestic route post-administration for Virgin Australia. The pacific routes, including New Zealand, and even Bali in the future are all doable with their workhorse fleet of B737’s. To head to other Asian routes, they will need longer haul aircraft to replace the Airbus A330’s and Boeing 777’s ditched by the new owners, Bain Capital. Don’t expect to see much movement on that until international borders are truly open from the most populous states, and in the priority destinations.

a pool with a deck and chairs on a deck overlooking a body of water
Savasi Island Resort

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

With Virgin taking delivery of 9 more B737s, some from Singapore Airlines SilkAir brand over the next 5 months, Virgin should be able to balance the needs of domestic demand with these short international routes.

A 4-hour flight makes a long weekend in Fiji possible. Might have to put that in the planning basket for the first half of 2022.

Oh, and the direct prices are not too bad out of Sydney. On Virgin Australia AU$1,550 for Business, and AU$642 Economy, return. Fiji Airlines and Qantas come in around AU$730 – 880 economy, and AU$2,500 in Business, return. Well at least those were the prices today.

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