11 Oct 2012

Air Pacific changes its name and upgrades its fleet

7:22 am on 11 October 2012

Air Pacific says the Fiji-based airline's fleet upgrade will allow it to compete on a better footing with its its Australian and New Zealand rivals.

The airline, which is changing its name to Fiji Airways, will take delivery of the first of three new Airbus A330s it has on order.

With the financial contribution of Fiji-based pension funds, these new A330s represent the first time the airline has purchased new wide-bodied aircraft.

Air Pacific chief executive David Pflieger says the A330s will replace the airline's ageing two Boeing 747 aircraft, and feature lie-flat seats at the pointy end and inflight entertainment for every passenger.

He says when you competed against the likes of Air New Zealand or Virgin you need to have a good, if not great, product out there.

Mr Pflieger also says it's too early to estimate what effect the proposed Qantas-Emirates alliance, which was being considered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, would have on Air Pacific's business.

Qantas, which bought 46 per cent of Air Pacific in 1988, codeshares on the Fiji carrier's flights.

The Australian flag carrier has been looking to sell its holding of Air Pacific for some time.