The recently rebranded Fiji Airways posted a profit last year, despite making significant investments in its products.
For the nine months ending 31 December 2013, the airline generated a profit after tax of FJ$14.5 million (US$7.9m), on revenues of FJ$541.2m. The airline changed its financial reporting period last year, but the result means Fiji Airways is on track to exceed the full-year profit of FJ$17.8m recorded in the 12 months to 31 March 2013. This in turn marked a 66% jump compared to 2012.
During 2013, Fiji Airways continued to revamp its fleet, with new Airbus A330-200s taking over from the airline’s older long-haul fleet of Boeing 747s. The airline added new routes to Sydney, Samoa and the Solomon Islands, and more flights from Fiji to destinations including Hong Kong and Christchurch.
“2013 was a major transition year for Fiji Airways,” said the airline’s chairman, Nalin Patel. “We rebranded to Fiji Airways… and we changed over from our long serving B747 aircraft to the more efficient A330 wide-body aircraft. This transition alone accounted for more than FJ$14 million one-time transition expenses in the financial year 2013. Our finance costs increased by FJ$33.6 million as we added these new aircraft to our Fiji Airways fleet.”
But rising revenues, driven by a 2.5% increase in passenger traffic, helped the airline stay profitable in 2013.
The group will continue with its rebranding programme in 2014, as regional carrier Pacific Sun becomes Fiji Link.