Fiji Airways delivers record profit in “transformative year”

FJ$132 million (AU$87.5m) FY pre-tax profit - up 180% year-on-year

Fiji Airways Group achieved both record profit before tax of FJ$132 million (approx AU$87.5 million) – up a whopping 180% – and operating revenue of FJ$1.8 billion (approx AU$1.2 billion) for the financial year ending 31 December 2023.

Operating revenue (or earnings) jumped 67% on the year prior, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) surged significantly by 171% as passengers headed to Fiji in droves in 2023. Passengers flying on the national carrier spiked 57% to 2.2 million, ahead of seat capacity growth (47%) and 2.8 million seats. The volume was up approximately 500,000 visitors from 2019 when the number was 1.7 million.

Fiji Airways A350-900

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“2023 marked a transformative year for Fiji Airways, characterised by a full-scale ramp-up in operations and unprecedented growth,” the company reported.

“The financial year saw the complete reopening of international markets and full restoration of the Group’s 2019 network coupled with significant growth.”

Gains were supported by the introduction of two additional new state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft to the fleet, enabling a boost to operational capabilities and providing benefits from significant fuel savings. The new aircraft supported the introduction of new routes and improved service delivery.

Fiji Airways celebrated the result with a hangar party yesterday at Nadi Airport

The total number of flights operated by the group increased 40% on the 2022 level to 26,586 international, regional and domestic flights.

Andre Viljoen, Managing Director and CEO, Fiji Airways recognised the airline’s entire team for their “commitment and determination” to help achieve these historic results.

“Given the difficult times that the company and the nation has come through during the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching these milestones in such a short time is testament of the grit and tenacity of the Fiji Airways Vuvale (family). An airline that consistently punches above its weight,” Viljoen said.

“When borders closed in March 2020, the Executive Leadership Team developed a Future-Fit Strategic Plan to ensure the National Airline was positioned to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic, and ready to thrive when the borders opened.”

“Come December 1st 2021, Fiji Airways was the first mover in the region to resume flights with our competitors many weeks behind. The National Airline led the charge and capitalised on pent up demand for travel, especially from our key markets; Australia, United States of America and eventually New Zealand. Today, we are seeing the benefits of all these actions.”

Nalin Patel, Chairman of Fiji Airways Group said the record-breaking revenue earnings and profit were “truly remarkable”.

“My fellow Board members and I congratulate Andre and the entire team at Fiji Airways for their commitment and their motivation towards being a market leader and financially sound business that is future-fit to ensure long term, sustainable growth.”

“With these results, the company has demonstrated that it is living up to its Strategic Purpose; We Fly for Fiji,” Patel said.

Hon. Professor Biman Prasad, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics lauded the achievement.

“I want to put into perspective exactly what these financial results mean not just to the National Airline – but to the country. The $1.8 billion revenue (earnings) is a direct injection into the economy.

“It spurs activity not just in the tourism sector but across the national economic landscape by way of salaries, the purchases of goods and services, payment of utilities, new investments and countless other daily transactions – all of which collectively fuel the engine of growth.”

“All of your efforts have helped build lives, paid for education, basic health services and assisted in the uplifting of national infrastructure,” Minister Prasad said.

Among a trove of key achievements made by Fiji Airways Group in 2023 were:

  • the introduction of new services to Canberra and Noumea
  • resumption of flights to Adelaide, Hong Kong and Tokyo
  • full year of service direct to Vancouver
  • new partnerships with JetBlue and Porter Airlines, further expanding the carrier’s footprint in North America
  • increased its stake in Richmond Pte Limited (trading as Sofitel Resort and Spa, Fiji) to a shareholding of 50%
  • Recognition of Andre Viljoen as Visionary of the Year by ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards
  • SKYTRAX 2023 Awards;
    • Best Airline, Best Airline Staff and Best Airline Services in Australia & the Pacific
    • 15th in Global top 100 Airline Rankings
    • 12th in Global Top 20 Cabin Crew Rankings

In recognition of the record-breaking financial performance, the Fiji Airways Board of Directors endorsed a profit share payout of FJ$5,000 to all eligible non-management employees to recognise their work and dedication.

The Fiji Airways Board of Directors also approved the payment of an interim dividend to shareholders of FJ$15 million.

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