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Qantas to return to Fiji from March 31 2019

written by WOFA | January 21, 2019

A 2014 file image of Qantas Boeing 737-800 VH-XZP on the ground in Nadi. (Gerard Frawley)
A 2014 file image of Qantas Boeing 737-800 VH-XZP on the ground in Nadi. (Gerard Frawley)

Qantas says it plans to return to Fiji for the first time in nearly two decades with nonstop flights between Sydney and Nadi due to kick off from March 31 2019.

The Australian carrier’s Nadi service will operate four times a week with Boeing 737-800 equipment. The flights have been scheduled as a morning departure from Sydney and a late afternoon departure from Nadi.

It will be the fourth airline offering nonstop passenger flights between Australia and Fiji, alongside its low-cost carrier (LCC) unit Jetstar, Fiji Airways and Virgin Australia.

Qantas flagged its intentions to resume flights to Nadi in November 2018, when it sought an allocation of capacity to serve Fiji from Australia’s International Air Services Commission (IASC).

In addition to its own flights to Nadi, Qantas said on Monday it would add its QF airline code on Jetstar’s four times weekly Sydney-Nadi service.

Further, Qantas would continue to codeshare on Fiji Airways’ flights between Australia and the popular tourist island destination. The Australian carrier has owned 46 per cent of Fiji Airways since 1998.

Fiji Airways serves Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney from its Nadi hub, as well as flies between Sydney and Suva.

The inaugural FJ961 arrives at the gate at Adelaide. (Ryan Hothersall)
The inaugural Fiji Airways Nadi-Adelaide service FJ961 arrives at the gate at Adelaide in July 2017. (Ryan Hothersall)


Qantas international chief executive Alison Webster said the decision to re-enter the Australia-Fiji market with its own aircraft was based on market demand, with Fiji an “incredibly popular holiday destination” for Australians.

“We have built flexibility into our network to respond to growing demand where we see it,” Webster said in a statement.

“In this case, it’s a returning to Fiji after almost 20 years, a short four-hour hop from Sydney, helping extend the summer for Australians year-round.

“The combination of Qantas and Jetstar also means we can provide more options to a destination which caters to different budgets and tastes, with good interstate connections for passengers travelling from other parts of Australia.”

Qantas’s Boeing 737-800s are configured with 174 seats – 12 business recliners in a 2-2 layout and 162 economy class seats at six abreast.

The announced flights to Nadi was the latest example of Qantas bringing back previously dropped routes.

The airline returned to the Perth-Singapore route in 2015 after a year off the route.

There was also the resumption of nonstop flights between Sydney and Bali in 2015, first on a seasonal basis and then year round, followed by Melbourne-Bali earlier in 2018.

And in 2017, Qantas recommenced Sydney-Beijing nonstop flights for the first time since it dropped the Chinese capital from its route network in 2009.

A file image of a Jetstar Airbus A320 at Nadi Airport. (Maksym Kozlenko/Wikimedia Commons)
A file image of a Jetstar Airbus A320 at Nadi Airport. (Maksym Kozlenko/Wikimedia Commons)

Australia-Fiji air services agreement was expanded in October

Qantas’s proposed flights to Nadi comes shortly after the governments of Australia and Fiji agreed to expand the air services agreement to increase the number of available seats for airlines of both countries by 20 per cent.

Previously, airlines of both countries were utilising just about all of the 6,500 seats of available capacity from Australia’s four major gateways of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney to Fiji. There were no capacity restrictions to Australian cities other than those four points.

Fiji Airways recently took delivery of the first of five Boeing 737 MAX 8s it has on order. The aircraft, which are replacing its Existing 737-800 and 737-700 fleet, are configured with 170 seats in a two-class configuration comprising eight recliners in business class and 162 seats in economy.

VIDEO: A look at Fiji Airways’ Boeing 737 MAX 8 from the airline’s YouTube channel.

It also has six Airbus A330 widebodys that are used on some Australian routes.

And in December 2018, Fiji Airways was formally admitted as the first oneworld connect member, having announced plans to join the airline marketing alliance in the special category in June 2018.

The membership category allowed airlines that wished to join the alliance but did not have either the resources, or need, to offer full reciprocity of frequent flyer benefits and integration with the rest of the full oneworld membership the opportunity to do so.

Eligible oneworld frequent flyers travelling on Fiji Airways have been able to access priority check-in desks and utilise priority boarding lanes from early December 2018.

Frequent flyer members of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas – which sponsored Fiji Airways’ admission as a oneworld connect member – would also soon be able to earn frequent flyer points and status points, as well as access premium passenger lounges and redeem award flights, on Fiji Airways-operated services.

Fiji Airways chief executive Andre Viljoen in from of the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX 8 featuring the oneworld connect logo. (oneworld)
Flight Number/Routing
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival


Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday




Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday



The June 2018 magazine edition of Australian Aviation included a feature story on Fiji Airways written by Tom Ballantyne. That story can be read here.


  • David


    so can you fly Qantas SYD/FIJI & then Fiji Airways FIJI/LAX or SFO on one fare ?

    We flew Qantas nonstop to LAX & then home via Fiji.

  • John


    but why would anyone fly Qantas SYD/NAN in a 737 when they come fly Fiji Airways in an A330 with low cost upgrades to business class(buls bids). Fiji Airways is so much better airline in so many ways.

    • Kerry


      Hi John (or any other reader).

      How low can Bula Bids realistically be? We are flying on the new Max 8 BNE/NAN next month.

      The difference between the lowest Economy and Business fares is $771.

      I was thinking maybe $300?

      Many thanks

  • Harrison


    If Qantas Don’t Start Melbourne-Nadi Flights Soon I’m Going To Lose It. Cause Sydney Gets All The Love By Qantas Leaving Melbourne In The Dust. Qantas I’m Going To Say 2 Things Start Melbourne-Sunshine Coast (Maroochydore) Year Round Flights And Start More International Flights From Melbourne

    • ian


      yes Harrison !!!

      All the codeshare Qantas flights on Fiji Airways MEL to Nadi are red eyes, while Virgin has at least 3 daylight nonstops a week.

    • Craigy


      @ Harrison Whats this Qantas leaving Melb in the dust. Current international flights are:
      MEL – LAX
      MEL – SFO
      MEL – LHR
      MEL – SIN
      MEL – HKG
      MEL – NAR
      MEL – AKL
      MEL – CHC
      MEL – WEL
      MEL – DPS

      And what market research have you done to justify year round flights Mel – Sunshine Coast?

  • Steve


    Harrison…. I’d say Joyce wouldn’t mind if “your going to lose it”

    It comes down to money, fleet utilisation and crew.

    If they haven’t started it or aren’t currently doing it. There’s a reason why

  • ian


    daytime MEL/NAN flights would connect with Fiji Airways NAN/LAX & NAN/SFO flights, whereas there are currently no QF or FJ daylight flights.

    • Avneel


      The reason FJ has done this is because the Government imagines tourists/transit passengers after a 6-7 hour long flight would spend $225fjd to go to a Mamanuca Island for a day-cruise and return to the airport for their 9pm departure out of Nadi.

      Don’t ask me why, this makes no sense to me as well

  • Mark


    don’t think it will be very long before Virgin sends Tiger to Fiji.

    Even a twice weekly service from ports such as Canberra or Gold Coast could work.

    • Avneel Abhishay


      Gold Coat would not work, Jetstar tried that once, failed to fill seats. Fijians prefer going to Singapore over Gold Coast and I do not reckon anyone from gold Coast would want to travel to Fiji since Fiji offers much less than what Gold Coast already has.

      • David


        of course gold coast would work. Fiji Air(Air pacific) tried it few years ago(must be 8 or more) but didn’t give it enough lead time. Not aimed at Fijians.

        Fiji is soooo much nicer than gold coast, but the big benefit is one stop to USA(LAX & San Fan) rather than go via bloody awful SYD. Plenty go via NZ now, but who wants to head south to fly north & Fiji air are generally cheaper than poor old kiwis

        • Avneel


          Transit passengers would only fill 1/4 of a plane, Fiji Airways would rather increase frequency to Wellington or fly to some other part of Australia than OOL.

          If they had to they would have before bringing in Adelaide service

          • David


            I think the % of transit passengers would average much more than 1/4 & also depends on time of the year. Fiji Air is often the cheapest Brisbane & Sydney to LAX & SFO

          • Ian


            Fiji air could start flying to Gold Coast or Canberra again tomorrow, no approvals necessary (restrictions apply to BNE, SYD, MEL, PER only I believe)

            Back in the days when Air Pacific picked up the 2 Ansett 747-400s (owned by Singapore airlines) for a song after SEP 11, I worked for a large wholesaler, who sent around 400 people a week to USA over Xmas school holidays. 80% or more of them flew via Fiji on Air Pacific, now called Fiji Airways. Some of them spent night or week in Fiji, some flew straight onto USA. Fiji Air are almost always the cheapest of the more direct operators to USA (SYD/LAX daily can be called direct, as is usually the same aircraft SYD/Fiji, hour or 2 on ground in Fiji, then Fiji/LAX)

            Fiji are geographically advantaged in that, airlines flying nonstop LAX/SYD are weight restricted. The last 3 or 4 hours flying … they ahve to carry more fuel, as they are carrying so much fuel. 10 hours is optimal for many of the aircraft that fly the route. 13-14 hours isn’t as economic, but many want to save 2 hours(or think they do, cos airlines tell them that) & pay extra.

  • Dan


    Fiji Airways has there 2nd 737 max 8. It was in the hanger when I returned 12 days ago. It was on the Nan-Syd route the following day.

  • Red Cee


    Mark, not everybody wants to fly Tiger. Not everyone wants to fly Jetstar either.

    • Mark


      2019-20 are going to be the years of the RECESSION WE HAVE TO HAVE & many will be looking for cheapest option. Fiji Air & Qantas are rarely goping to be cheaper than Jetstar & with Tigers costs, they could probably be cheaper & if they didn’t fly old Fiji air routes of CBR/NAN & OOL/NAN they could probably take over some of virgin flights to NAN.

      Many will either find perceived cheap fares or not travel at all. It’s going to be a very rough year for airlines, as discretionary spending plummets.

  • Laisani


    Thank you Qantas



    this is great news. schedules not so good on the return though But I would most likely go Qantas Adelaide via Sydney to Fiji but return home nonstop on the Fiji Airways ones to Adelaide. always wanted to go there having seen how wonderful it is on TV.

    • James


      Fiji – friendliest place on earth. Don’t think anyone ever dies in fiji from stress. Locals that is

      • Paul McLaren


        No, but expats will from Coconut time if they stay there long enough!

  • David


    competition is a wonderful thing.

    You can now fly to Fiji from AUD$249 one way

  • Margie


    Will there be a Qantas club in Fiji ??

    • David



      Of course there won’t be a Qantas club in Fiji for just a few flights a week, but the real question is, can you use the fantastic Tabua Club, I think it’s called of Fiji Airways, which is muxch better than most Qantas clubs.

Comments are closed.


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