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Fiji Airways celebrates 65 years of flying


Sep 01, 2016 04:39:22 PM

Fiji Airways celebrates 65 years of flying Fiji’s national airline- Fiji Airways today celebrated 65 years of flying at its headquarters in Nadi.

Fiji Airways Chief Executive and Managing Director Andre Viljoen said national airlines are rare these days as only few have survived and Fijians should be proud that Fiji Airways is still flying today, 65 years on.

“It was on this day in 1951 that our airline undertook its first commercial flight. It marked a new chapter for Fiji, as Fijians took to the skies, and our very own piece of Civil Aviation history was born,” he said.

“We have to give credit to our founder, Harold Gatty, a pioneering aviator, for taking the bold step to establish an airline in Fiji. He laid the foundation for what today is Fiji’s National Airline”

“A flight that is 65 years-long doesn’t come without its fair share of turbulence. But given that we are here today, on September 1st 2016, we can proudly say we’ve weathered the most challenging storms which have come our way – natural or otherwise.”

Mr Viljoen added that the support and guidance of the Fijian Government in their toughest challenges allowed the company to grow and prosper.

“The success we are enjoying today would not have happened if Government had not worked together with the Board and Management to transform the company. Restrictive policies and practices which hampered our growth were changed, and these changes allowed us to expand our network, acquire modern aircraft and rebrand us into a genuine expression of the Fijian spirit.”

He also acknowledged the commitment and dedication of all Fiji Airways staff and the passion, support and the pride of the Fijian people.

Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Public Service and Communications, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji Airways Board Chairman, Mr Rajesh Punja, brand ambassador Ben Ryan, his wife Natalie, and some members of the Gold Medal winning Fiji 7s team were in attendance at the celebration.

By Reginald Chandar

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