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Fiji Airways group announces record FJD$95.8 million profit for 2017

Fiji Airways Group has announced its highest ever profit before tax of FJD$95.8 million (US$46.9 million) for the fiscal year that ended December 31, 2017, a 13.4 percent increase over the previous financial year. 

The Group (legally known as Air Pacific Limited) comprises of Fiji Airways, Fiji’s National Airline; its subsidiaries Fiji Link & Pacific Call Comm. Ltd; plus a 38.75% stake in the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa on Denarau Island.

The announcement was made at the airline’s Head Office in Nadi by the Fijian Attorney General and Minister responsible for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Results Highlights:

•Group revenue was F$929 million (US$455 million) compared to FJD$825.3million (US$404.5 million) for the previous year ended 31st December 2016 (up by 12.5%)

•Group profit before tax was FJD$95.8 million (US$46.9 million) compared to F$84.5 million (US$41.4 million) for the previous year ended 31st December 2016

•The Group carried 1.6 million passengers compared to 1.4 million for the previous year ended 31st December 2016 (up by 14.3%)

•Profit-share for non-management staff and minimum bonus for management increased by 10% compared to the previous year.

Based on the PwC audited financial statements for 2017, the Group has announced the following profit-share and management-bonus arrangements:

•Eligible non-management staff of Fiji Airways and Fiji Link will each receive a profit-share payout of FJD$4,400 (US$2,156)

•Eligible Fiji Airways and Fiji Link managers will each receive a management bonus of no less than FJD$9,900(US$4,825)

This is in addition to quarterly bonuses of up to FJD$1,200 (US$588) per year that non-management staff of Fiji Airways and Fiji Link already stand to earn for achieving key objectives.

Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways Managing Director & CEO, said: ‘To achieve a fourth year of successive record profits is a massive achievement by the entire team of the Fiji Airways Group. I couldn’t be more proud of the way the team surpassed all key metrics for revenue, passenger and network growth, efficiently navigating through a challenging operating period in which cost control was crucial. 2017 saw the achievement of numerous milestones for the Group. The team increased the size of the fleet, launched a new route, increased frequencies on key long-haul routes and opened a world class lounge at our home airport – Nadi.”

“The result also wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our stakeholders. Chief among them are our customers - the Fijian people and Government. We are grateful In particular for the consistent support of our Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, and our Line Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. We’re also very grateful for the guidance and support of our Chairman Rajesh Punja and our Board of Directors.”

The Attorney General and Minister of Economy, Aiyaz Sayed – Khaiyum commended the airline staff, management and Board for again building on the Fijian national carrier’s success story: “For a country that’s very heavily dependent on tourism, it is critically important for us to have a very healthy national carrier. This result is a proud achievement not just for the airline but for the entire nation. Fiji Airways has again proved itself to be a star player in Team Fiji. And the warm congratulations of every Fijian goes to the Fiji Airways management and staff. You have become role models for every enterprise in Fiji of what can be achieved in our workplaces with cooperation, collaboration, focus and hard work.” 

“When the Bainimarama Government was appointed in 2007, Fiji Airways was in dire straits. But with the right policy settings, a new approach to industrial relations, right Government support, the airline has not only been saved but is flying higher and further than ever before. We wish to especially thank the Fiji Airways workforce for your dedication. The healthy profit-share you are now receiving is only possible when management and staff share the same goals”, the AG said. 

In 2017, 86% of the airline’s 1,384 staff completed Phase 1 of the UP! Your Service culture-building programme designed by world renowned service expert Ron Kaufman. This resulted in Fiji Airways reducing customer complaints by 66% while increasing compliments by 22% compared to the previous year; as Fiji Link increased compliments by 74%. 183 staff were recognised for ‘Stepping UP’ for customers or colleagues and were awarded Bronze Stars, while four staff were awarded the coveted Silver Star.

The airline achieved a number of other major milestones in 2017. These include:

•Concluding a landmark, highly beneficial deal for the acquisition of five brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to replace the aging Boeing 737 NG aircraft. The first and second B737 MAX 8 aircraft will be delivered in November and December 2018 respectively

•Opening of the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge, a world class Business Class Lounge at Nadi International Airport, which has been extremely popular with guests (having a 2018 Net Promoter Score of 86)

•Launching twice-weekly services to Adelaide, Australia, and increasing seasonal frequencies to Singapore and San Francisco (now an year-round service)

•Announcing, and commencing sale of, direct flights between Nadi and Tokyo-Narita beginning July 3 2018.

•Launching the revolutionary Resort Check-In product, allowing guests to check in for their flights from the Sofitel Resort and Spa on Denarau Island.

•Upgrading the Premier and Priority Check-in counters at Nadi International Airport, and progressively rolling out Kiosk Check-In at various airports

•Signing a number of codeshare agreements to increase the total number of destinations on the network to 106 by the end of 2017. New codeshare agreements were signed with Jet Airways, Hong Kong Airlines and Solomon Airlines while codeshare agreements with Qantas and Cathay Pacific were extended

•Completing the Hay Job Grading and Remuneration System as a Job Evaluation Exercise, resulting in 460 staff (65 % of those eligible for review) getting pay increases based on market rates

•Finalising the selection of two CAE Full Flight Simulators (for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and Airbus A330 aircraft) for the Fiji Aviation Academy, and starting construction on the Academy site at Namaka, Nadi

•Embarking on an evaluation campaign to select a wide-body jet aircraft type to augment and/or replace existing Airbus A330 fleet

•Finalising a deal with Viking Air Ltd for three brand new DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft and completing entry into service for all aircraft within eight months

•Launching the Bula Bid “Upgrade Now” system allowing customers to bid online for a Business Class upgrade, and prior seat selection 

•Having Inflight Magazine ‘FijiTime’ being recognised by World Travel Awards as Australasia’s Leading Inflight Magazine and celebrating the recognition of Fiji Airways by APEX as a 4-Star Major Regional Airline

•Introducing a dedicated Premier Service Team to look after VIP Customers and Tabua Club Members travelling in Business Class

•Contributing to numerous environmental and conservation initiatives, including planting over 5,000 trees as part of the ‘Every Takeoff…One Tree’ initiative, and supporting Fiji’s Presidency of the COP 23 Forum.

•Announcing the largest corporate sponsorship in the history of Fijian sport with a major naming rights sponsorship of all Fiji Rugby representative teams.

Viljoen said the outlook for 2018 was challenging given the pressure of fuel price increases, increased competition, and volatility of the US dollar.

“Fuel prices will continue to be a challenge for all airlines and we will not get complacent with the fiscal discipline required to meet our financial targets. It will, however, be an exciting year for Fiji Airways as we become the first airline in the region to receive and operate the brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on our short-haul markets of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. We will continue to pursue a Skytrax 4-Star Airline rating and keep adding more customer experience enhancements across our entire operation. Guests can expect further travel convenience to new destinations as part of our expanded network in 2018, with Japan being our newest direct service. We will also begin installing the simulators at the Fiji Aviation Academy site.”

Rajesh Punja, Fiji Airways’ Chairman said the airline was well placed to deliver on its key objectives and play a major part in the growth of Fiji’s tourism industry.

“There is an immense sense of pride and responsibility among the Fiji Airways team about their role in the Fijian economy through tourism. Each new initiative is a deliberate, considered action that meets the dual targets of ensuring sustainable profitability while fulfilling Fiji Airways’ role as a strong national carrier and an iconic Fijian brand. Everything, from the benefits of having our own Aviation Academy with its future growth plans to the selection of a new wide-body fleet, is designed to meets the goals of both the airline and the nation. The Directors are proud of the way that Management and Staff have achieved yet another record profit while delivering numerous customer service upgrades.”......


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