Recently we reported about Fiji Airways ordering two shiny new Airbus A350s. But now we know where they will fly… Sydney to Los Angeles via Fiji.
This flight is really quite cool, as it allows those flying between the two countries (normally a direct flight) a very smug layover in paradise.
What are the details?
The new aircraft will begin operating on the route from January 1st, 2020, as published by airlineroutes.com
It will take roughly 11 hours for the LA to Fiji leg, then a two to three-hour layover in Fiji before the 4 1/2 hour flight to Sydney.
The LA leg will only operate six times a week compared to daily flights to and from Sydney. This means that if you are caught out on the one flight with only an A330 connection to LA, you might find yourself trapped in Fiji for an extra day (oh no, can you imagine?).
The exact flight times are as follows
- LA leg – departing 9:30 PM arriving 6:00 AM. Return journey departing 9:40 PM arriving 11:25 AM (arriving before you left). Six times a week
- Sydney Leg – departing 9:30 AM arriving 12:10 PM, with the return departing 1:25 PM arriving 7:20 PM.
Because the LA leg crosses the international dateline, you will arrive in Fiji from LA two days after you left, and on your return Fiji will give you back an extra day, arriving before you left.
What does this mean for the current Fiji Fleet?
Fiji Airways currently has a fleet of A330s operating this route. It’s a little old hat and does leave a little to be desired, for example, their business class is old fashioned, with not much privacy and angled flat seats.
The new aircraft will feature business suites, with true lie-flat seats in a herringbone configuration. Each seat will have direct aisle access with a 1-2-1 cabin layout.
This is the same business class that will be featured on the new British Airways A350-1000.
The aircraft will also have WIFI and have a new economy class seat.
“Ultimately, a luxury, world-class destination, like Fiji, deserves a luxury, world-class travel experience and that’s exactly what these aircraft will deliver.” – Andre Viljoen, managing director and CEO of Fiji Airways
According to Onemileatatime, these two A350s were supposed to go to Hong Kong Airlines, but due to political infighting (about who is the current CEO) and financial difficulties, they decided to delay their delivery and thus pass the A350s over to Fiji Airways.
They also pointed out that as this is a two-leg journey on rotation that requires two planes, it is unlikely that the A350 will see operation outside of the Sydney to LA Pacific hop.
This new aircraft will really refresh Fiji Airways and place them very high on the ranking for transpacific travel, as well as hops over to Fiji itself. Qantas currently operates a direct flight with a Boeing 737 (which you can read a review of here) and needless to say, Fiji leaves them in the dust.
What do you think? Will you fly on the new Fiji Airways Airbus A350?