Fiji Airways cut through the red tape and high security to present their new A350 XWB to the travel media, industry leaders and agents last week on tarmac 6 at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport.

More than 100 guests provided personal and passport details to gain clearance to have airside access to inspect the first of the two new A350 900. (XWB denotes extra wide body) Among the attendees was Luke Daunivalu, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Fiji, the Regional GM in Australia, John Nickel and Head of Global Sales PK Lee.

The aircraft, ‘Island of Viti Levu’ will go into commercial service on December 1st 2019 flying Nadi to Sydney. Following this, the aircraft will rotate out on the Sydney and Los Angeles routes, with the second Airbus A350 XWB arriving mid-December 2019. From January 1st 2020, the A350 will fly daily between Nadi and Sydney as well as Nadi and Los Angeles.

Guests were bussed from the International Terminal to the apron of tarmac 6 and were welcomed into the business class seats. It is an odd feeling sitting in J class on a plane bound for nowhere. The aircraft smelt new, much like a new car but with a very different price tag.

Drinks and a show

Mr. Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways Managing Director & CEO said, “We are extremely proud to welcome our first Airbus A350 XWB to our fleet. Welcoming the Island Viti Levu represents more than just an addition to our fleet, it represents a future of opportunities, our commitment to quality service and a more luxurious flight experience for our guests and crew.”

The A350-900 cabin is among the quietest in the world giving guests and crew an excellent inflight experience. The aircraft features 33 fully lie flat beds in the business cabin and 301 economy seats that are among the most comfortable in the market. The brand new economy cabin has allowed Fiji Airways zone within economy class called “BULA SPACE”. The first few rows of economy allows guests to have extra legroom for additional comfort.

The Fiji High Commissioner to Australia Luke Daunivalu and Head of Global Sales PK Lee

Fiji Airways has become the first airline from the South Pacific region to take delivery and operate the worlds most modern all new aircraft. The A350-900 was delivered following a ceremony in Toulouse in October. The A350 XWBs will deliver new levels of fuel efficiency and passenger comfort.

Following inspection of the aircraft guests were invited into a VIP room airside for celebratory champagne and a finger food luncheon.

At of the end of October this year, Airbus had firm orders for another 913 of the popular aircraft.

Fiji Airways new A350

Written by John Savage