Pacific Sun, the regional subsidiary of the recently rebranded Fiji Airways (formerly Air Pacific), has today announced that it will lease an ATR 72-600 turboprop, to add to its fleet of two ATR 42-500 and three DHC Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otters and support its network development strategy. The aircraft will be delivered in April 2014 on a 12-year operating lease from Singapore-based aircraft leasing company Avation PLC.
Pacific Sun intends to use the new aircraft on its domestic and regional (Pacific Islands) routes, which it operates on behalf of Fiji Airways. Nalin Patel, Pacific Sun’s Chairman said the intent to acquire an additional, larger aircraft stems from the airline’s confidence in the growth of domestic and regional travel.
“Pacific Sun provides an invaluable link between Fiji’s main and outer islands, as well as between Fiji and its Pacific neighbours, said Patel. “With the growth in domestic and regional traffic experienced in the past years and a restructure of Pacific Sun’s operations the time is now right for the airline to expand its fleet. This will provide a boost to travel between Fiji’s larger domestic ports (Nadi, Suva and Labasa), as well as encourage further travel and trade between Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga.”
According to Pacific Sun’s General Manager, Shaenaz Voss, the letter of intent with Avation and the selection of the larger capacity, 68-seat ATR 72-600 was signed following a careful and independent assessment of Pacific Sun’s route network and year-round passenger demand. “What this acquisition will allow us to do is match demand with the right capacity,” explained Voss.
“Due to its size, our new ATR will operate between Fiji’s larger ports – Nadi, Suva and Labasa, and from Fiji to other Pacific island destinations, so naturally we will increase frequency of flights to our Regional Ports. While we look forward to announcing what our schedules will look like, we can safely say that the increased capacity and frequency will allow us to offer more convenient services with even better connectivity opportunities with Fiji Airways’ international schedules,” she added.