Air Pacific, which is being rebranded as Fiji Airways, has revealed the new look for its Airbus A330s - with livery, seats and interiors designed to reflect the island nation's heritage.
The three A330s – all arriving brand new from the Airbus factory, which is another first for the airline – will arrive throughout 2013, and by year's end the airline will officially change its name, branding and uniforms.
“The unveiling of the new look and features of our soon-to-arrive A330s is the latest milestone in a series of initiatives that are a part of the Air Pacific’s restructuring and rebranding” said Dave Pflieger, Air Pacific’s Managing Director and CEO, speaking at the world premiere event in Suva today (suitably held on the national Fiji Day).
The A330s will fly from Fiji to Australia, Auckland, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
“Air Pacific is on a transformational journey to become a best-in-class airline" Pflieger said. “Service and comfort are top priorities, and these state-of-the-art aircraft promise the best of both worlds."
Earlier this year the airline revealed its new Fiji Airways logo, swapping the tropical colours of Air Pacific for a brown block with a stylised woodcut typeface and a unique 'Masi' symbol designed by Fijian artist Makereta Matemos.
This will replafe the current Air Pacific logo shown below.
"We wanted a new and distinctly Fijian symbol and brandmark that would help us best represent the country while also ensuring our planes stand out at some of the world’s busiest international airports" Pflieger explains, "a symbol that would allow us to become the very best ‘Flying Ambassador’ that Fiji could ever have."
The story behind the livery...
On the aircrafts’ exterior, three Masi symbols will represent ‘Fiji Airways’ and complement the new logo.
Central to the airline's brand and also featured prominently on the tail of the new aircraft, the Teteva motif "represents the friendliness of Fijians’ and their deep caring nature", the airline states.
Two more Masi symbols adorn the A330.
The first is Makare, seen here framing the Teteva on the tail (albeit reversed from the image below), evokes "the allure of clear water flowing on a white sandy beach".
The Rova symbol, which decorates the A330's engine nacelles, "represents the warm greeting Fijians extend to visitors".
Inside the Fiji Airways Airbus A330s
The island nation’s new aircraft are fitted out with business class and economy seats designed by Zodiac Aerospace/Weber.
Business class travellers will enjoy a new angled lie-flat bed at the pointy end of the A330, with Weber's 7811 seat – most recently seen on Virgin Australia's new A330s – providing a far greater degree of comfort at all stages of the journey compared to Air Pacific's current premium seating.
The seats will include inbuilt AC power and USB outlets plus a 15.4 inch LCD screen running Panasonic’s eX2 content-on-demand system.
In economy class, Air Pacific will pack the A330 with Weber’s slim-line model 5751, which has a 7.5 inch recline – comprising of a 6 inch back recline plus 1.5 inches of forward movement for the base.
These seats will also be fitted with AC and USB sockets and a 9 inch Panasonic touchscreen.
The inflight control unit will be fixed to the underside of the seat rather than mounted on the floor, to increase usable floorspace.
Pflieger, seen below next to one of his pilots sampling one of the Weber business class seats (in Weber chocolate rather than Fiji Airways cream), tells Australian Business Traveller that the new seats and inflight entertainment system are “several leaps ahead from what our customer experience today.”
Pflieger says the many changes in store for Air Pacific “will allow us to provide passengers travelling to South Pacific even more reasons to fly with us” while the new Fiji Airways will become “the world’s preferred airline in the South Pacific.”
Sit back and watch this video prepared by Air Pacific to showcase its new aircraft...
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.