Unlocking the Skies: Air Transport Agreement Progress for Fiji

Discussions with the United States Government for an open skies air transport agreement are progressing positively, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Viliame Gavoka.

Mr. Gavoka indicated that such an agreement would open up the entire continental US, allowing Fiji Airways to operate direct flights between Fiji and destinations like Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, and Seattle.

“Fiji Airways has more than 40 pending codeshares that will be activated with American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Finnair. Activating these codeshares will provide more access and open more markets within the US, and more options to international markets via the US, ultimately providing more passengers onto Fiji Airways and Fiji,” Mr. Gavoka said during the 2024-2025 National Budget debate in parliament on Monday.

“With more airline seats comes the need for more hotel rooms and beds,” he added.

He noted that the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance announced several hotel investments, with 10 already under construction and two major refurbishments underway.

“This demonstrates a great deal of confidence in the Fijian economy,” Mr. Gavoka said.

He also highlighted the recent Tourism Investment Summit in Denarau, which attracted about 300 delegates from around the world and locally.

“The quality of the delegates, many from global brands, was quite uplifting. It was the first time we’ve seen this level of interest from those wishing to build in Fiji,” he remarked.

Mr. Gavoka welcomed the extension of the Short Life Investment Package (SLIP) tax holiday to investors who acquire existing hotels and undertake renovations worth more than $50 million.

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