Fiji aviation ministry wants competition


Fiji’s aviation ministry has awarded a charter licence to a private airline, Island Sun, to provide charter services to any destination in the country.<!--more-->This brings competition to the nation’s flag carrier Air Pacific’s subsidiary Pacific Sun. The Fiji Government holds a majority stake in Air Pacific.

Announcing the award of the charter licence to private flyer Island Hopper, Fiji Government’s Permanent Secretary for Civil Aviation Elizabeth Powell said both the Government and the managements of Air Pacific and Pacific Sun welcomed competition.

When Pacific Periscope asked whether the Government would also welcome competition in scheduled commercial flights, Ms Powell said the Government would be happy to see competition because it encourages better quality and services s well as competitive pricing.

[caption id="attachment_2945" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Air Pacific CEO Dave Pflieger, Fijian Aviation Ministry Permanent Secretary Elizabeth Powell and PacificSun General Manager Shaenaz Voss at a news conference in Suva. Photos: Dev Nadkarni"]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-2945" title="Fiji Aviation 2" src="" alt="" width="250" height="150" /></a>[/caption]

But Ms Powell said no applications for scheduled commercial flights had been received so far. It was important that any applicants fulfilled all the country’s civil aviation requirements relating to technical specifications and safety, she said.

As reported in last week’s Pacific Periscope, Pacific Sun, the country’s second largest airline that services mostly domestic routes, has upgraded its fleet of DH-6 Twin Otter aircraft, which will enable it to fly year-round in inclement weather, greatly improving the regularity of services to smaller destinations and boosting business links.

By August this year, the airline plans to spend F$1.8 million on upgrading its Twin Otter fleet to install a new cockpit avionics package, which will include state-of-the-art Ground Proximity Warning Systems (GPWS), new IFR instrumentation, and new VHF &amp; HF radios.

Replying to a question from Pacific Periscope at a news conference in Suva, Air Pacific Chief Executive Officer David Plieger said the upgrade was funded entirely by internal financial resources.