SPTO applauds Fiji Airways on British Airways partnership
The partnership between Fiji Airways and British Airways is a welcome development for the tourism industry in the Pacific, which will open up new markets for growth. Fiji Airways is also the first airline to become a connect member of oneworld which is a platform that connects travellers to alliance airlines for travel benefits.
“SPTO is pleased to hear of Fiji Airways recent developments and their continued efforts to grow visitor traffic to Fiji and the rest of the Pacific, with this partnership we hope to see more inbound visitors from long haul markets of UK and Europe” said SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Chris Cocker.
Fiji Airways is a major regional airline and the hub for tourism flow from international markets through Fiji and into the South Pacific.
Aviation and accessibility has long been a challenge for many Pacific Islands who do not have their own airlines and rely on other regional and international airlines and code share associations to support a growing tourism industry.
“The onus is on our member countries to work cooperatively with Fiji Airways to support travel packages to grow more travel out of the long haul markets of Europe and UK as a result” added Mr Cocker.
2017 Tourist arrivals into the Pacific from Europe was 190,164 and 32,781 from the United Kingdom. Compared to Australia that accounts for 29.5% of all tourists coming into the region, Europe and UK represent 8.9% and 1.5% respectively of the total market share. The UK market continues to decline at 6.3% from 2016 whilst Europe grows weakly by 0.2% over 2016. Fiji, French Polynesia and New Caledonia continue to be the top destinations for UK and Europe visitors.
Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways Managing Director & CEO of Fiji Airways, said: “We are extremely proud to embark on a codeshare with British Airways to give travellers from the UK convenient access to our home – Fiji, one of the world’s most sought after tourism destinations”.
Rishi Kapoor, British Airways’ Head of Alliances, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Fiji Airways and welcoming them into the oneworld family. We are incredibly pleased that customers can now book to fly to this stunning part of the world direct on ba.com”
This new partnership comes just days after Fiji Airways signed up to become the first oneworld connect partner which includes British Airways as a founding member.
Fiji Airways will add seven territories – its Fiji home and the neighbouring South Pacific states of Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Western Samoa – and nine destinations to the oneworld map, strengthening oneworld’s position as the leading alliance in the Pacific.