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Out With The Old, In With The New: Fiji Airways  
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6391 posts, RR: 39
Posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 21475 times:

Out With The Old, In With The New - Air Pacific, Fiji Airways


Introduction

It caught my surprise when the management of Air Pacific, the national carrier of Fiji, decided to rebrand the airline and return to the name last used in 1971 - Fiji Airways. The timing of the transition was made to coincide with the arrival of brand new A330-200s; which the airline had opted for seeing that the 787s were so badly delayed (and subsequently cancelled that order). Along with the new branding came a new livery based on traditional masi cloth designs (known as tapa throughout other parts of the South Pacific) to replace the multi-coloured tail which has graced the skies over the Pacific for many years.

Fiji Airways operates the jet services to Hong Kong, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. Fiji Airways’ subsidiary Pacific Sun flies island hopper services to Suva and islands in Fiji. I have flown over the South Pacific on flights to the USA but I had never flown to any other Pacific island except for the South Island of New Zealand. This meant it’d also be my first flight on Air Pacific/Fiji Airways.

The arrival of the A330-200s meant that the ageing 747-400s were to be retired. I noticed that the last scheduled FJ 747-400 flight into Auckland was to be in June so I pondered and pondered before giving in and taking up the opportunity to fly this great plane out of Auckland for the last time. For my return, I had picked a flight on their new A330-200. I was keen to see what advancements had been made for this jump to the ‘bus. Ironically, my bus shelter was plastered with Fiji Airways advertising as they were pushing the rebranding from Air Pacific to Fiji Airways; which at the time felt like an omen for things to come!


Welcome to my 24th trip report. It covers a weekend return trip from Auckland to Nadi, Fiji.



Air Pacific was officially re-renamed Fiji Airways on the 27th June 2013. A big celebration was held in Fiji even though the Fiji Airways A330-200s had been flying for a few months by then. With this change came the new logo, uniforms, meals and all the bits and pieces served to the passengers. Another couple of days and I’d be trying them for myself.


29 June 2013

The day had arrived for the last scheduled service of an Air Pacific 747-400 to Auckland - time for me to go flying once again. Fiji Airways contracts Air New Zealand for the ground handling. A shot taken the weekend before shows huge queues for check in and the old signage.



Fast forward to this day and new signs are up along with more celebratory signage.



I was at the airport really early for the flight so that’s probably the reason for no queues being visible at check in. If I was there a bit later, the queue could have easily stretched out into the main walkway area. No worries for me either way as I had a ticket in Business Class today. The management decided to change the name back to Business Class from Tabua Class and also Economy Class from Pacific Voyager. There was a short wait for a desk to become vacant but as soon as one freed up, I was next. The process was smooth as usual. Air New Zealand is extremely strict on the cabin baggage and weighs everyone’s carry on bags; even if you’re travelling in premium cabins on other airlines. I don’t like this policy. Having passed that, a Fiji Airways labelled tag was placed on my backpack with the weight written on it (the weight was never checked again) and I was off upstairs to the observation deck for the arrival of my plane.

Boarding Pass
The teal of Air New Zealand still rules Auckland for now
Touchdown
What a beauty. Where are you going?
Gate 2, right under my nose!



Fiji Airways uses the Qantas lounge in Auckland. Their lunch offering of beef bourguignon is rather nice. There was also time for a couple of drinks before heading to the gate. I’ve covered it before so there’s no need for me to talk about it again.

The gate area was packed. Winter time in New Zealand means that a lot of holiday goers want to head to the Pacific Islands for some warm weather. As I wanted to take some photos on board before anyone else got on, I asked the (Air NZ) gate agent whether it was ok to board early seeing it was the last Air Pacific 744 flight out of Auckland. She kindly agreed and beeped my boarding pass through, allowing me to board with the many elderly folk needing assistance.



[Edited 2013-08-01 16:55:03]


It's all about the destination AND the journey.
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6391 posts, RR: 39
Reply 1, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 21765 times:

Flight Information

29 June 2013
Routing: Auckland - Nadi (AKL-NAN)
Airline: Air Pacific/Fiji Airways
Flight: FJ410
Scheduled Time of Departure: 1315hrs
Actual Departure: 1326hrs (pushback), 1504hrs (2nd pushback) 1524hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1605hrs
Touchdown: 1750hrs
Flight time: 2 hrs 26 min
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Registration: DQ-FJK
Seat: 1A


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Photo © Nicholas Young
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Photo © Edwin Chai


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Photo © Sam Chui
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Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages
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Photo © Dennis Lau


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Photo © Alan Tsui
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Photo © Glen Reid


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Photo © Nicholas Young



Air Pacific has had two 747-400s for a period of just over 10 years.They are old birds which first flew in 1989. DQ-FJK is 7 months younger than sistership DQ-FJL and first flew in September 1989. They were purchased by Air Pacific from Singapore Airlines back in 2003, following their lease to Ansett Australia until their collapse in September 2001. Apparently Singapore Airlines was getting ready to lease this one to Air Nigeria in November 2002 but it eventually joined the Air Pacific fleet instead. DQ-FJL was withdrawn from service on the 19th July 2013, being sent to Tupelo, Mississippi, for disposal. Once the third and final Fiji Airways A330-200 arrives in November, FJK will receive the same fate.

Air Pacific configured them in a 28J/430Y configuration - a low yielding high density configuration fit for bringing the tourists to the Fijian Islands. These old birds haven’t had a retrofit for over 14 years but the fabric has been reupholstered. Pictures on the A.Net database show the exact same seat and the exact same IFE which Ansett Australia was using at the turn of the millennium.


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Photo © Craig Murray
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Photo © Craig Murray



It is one airline which has all Economy seating (3-3) on the upper deck. Not exactly the stairway to heaven compared to other airlines! Business Class fits nicely in the nose and just behind the first set of doors.

Today was my first time turning left at the door! I was warmly welcomed by the crew with many a “Bula!” before I asked the purser if I could take photos around the cabin. That was welcomed by the crew with open arms! The other thing which was definitely noticed was the Fijian music softly playing over the speakers, creating a really relaxed feel as we all stepped into Fiji Time.

The view after turning left
View from the front


All Business Class seats had little bottles of Fiji Water - the water which a lot of celebrities have become fond of (eg Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory). Each seat also came standard with a blanket and pillow - both of which were new items consistent with the new Fiji Airways brand.

I took my chance to roam around the plane while it was still empty but eventually succumbed to the thought of that big seat waiting up the front for me. I talked to a few of the flight attendants and most seemed to know that it was the last scheduled 747-400 service of Air Pacific/Fiji Airways to Auckland. The ground staff from Air NZ on the other hand had no idea of this!

Economy Class
Back up the front
Taken from Roni’s favourite seat



Although the Business Class seat is old, it is so comfortable! While testing out the seat before departure, I was so surprised at the amount of recline these seats had (160 degrees) that I apologised to the person in 2A! 1A on this bird was a great choice. 4 windows to myself and as much legroom as anyone could need. But of course, it was chosen for being 1A (I mean, who doesn’t want to sit in 1A, especially on a 747!) and no other reason. I was also surprised that it was electric and not done by a push of a button like the recline in Economy or Business in the 763/737. This must have been super flash a decade ago - and it was still wowing me.

The ancient IFE is about on par with Emirates’ system from 5 generations ago. In these seats, the PTV comes up from the middle armrest and a huge tray table is accessed from the outer armrest. They have a 12 channel looped video and it didn’t seem like all the channels were working. At least it had the one programme I wanted the most - the airshow map. One point Fiji Airways could improve on is the headset quality. Both Business and Economy passengers get the same poor quality headsets, as seen below.

My seat today, 1A!
Boutique Fiji Water
So much room
4 windows
Seat controls
When did you last see an ashtray in your seat?
Legroom shot - infinite!
Headphones


The plane continued to fill and I was settled in my seat. Pre departure drinks came around with a choice of orange juice or sparkling wine. As expected, new glasses featuring the masi patterned motif were used - they were strikingly similar in shape to what Cathay serves in its Business Class cabin. A bit of a shame - they’ve done away with colourful drink coasters and introduced far thinner things. Hot towels were passed out next and they were thick branded cloths. Very nice! Soon after, they were around with the menus.

Pre-takeoff Drinks
This motif is also on the tail of the Fiji Airways livery
The coaster. This font is used throughout the branding
Hot towel
Drink and food menus


Pushback wasn’t far away. When we eventually did push, for some reason we didn’t push back all the way to the taxiway centerline and the tow truck was still attached some 5-10 minutes later. Something had gone wrong. then the pilot came across the PA telling us that there was a technical problem with the wheels and that ‘one wheel was spinning the other way than it is supposed to’.. That really confused me. Half an hour later, we were towed back to the gate, where the seatbelt sign was finally switched off and were told to remain on board. An expected departure time was set for 3pm - this flight was certainly in Fiji Time! Nothing worried me at all.. It meant enjoying my seat in 1A for much longer than expected. In fact, the time spent on the ground matched the time spent in the air!

Pushback take one
Why did we stop?


Together, the three flight attendants in the Business Class cabin took their time to introduce themselves to each and every Business Class passenger and welcomed us onboard. That added a great touch to the service - something I’d never seen before and something you might expect from a First Class cabin.

The great flight attendants


The FAs kept good tabs on the Business Class customers, handing out snacks and drinks as expected. They also found time to take lunch orders while chatting to the passengers.

Snack


There is a new inflight magazine named Fiji time. A bit thin on content, it suffices with information about the airline’s history, routes and fleet.

Inflight magazine, Fiji Time. 1st Edition, one to cherish!
And the back
I love the nose section
The very deep recline in comparison to the upright seat
Toilet
Flight attendants actively engaging with the passengers
The open door back to the terminal with the gate agent making sure no passenger gets off the plane
So many seats with infinite legroom



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6391 posts, RR: 39
Reply 2, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 21699 times:

Eventually after a while of relaxing in my seat, we were ready for departure. Apparently they did a temporary fix and we were to taxi and turn slower than usual. It didn’t really feel like we taxied any slower than usual. Because we were departing to the west out of Auckland, I had negotiated a seat change in order to capture the city on our way north. The light load in Business made this possible. It definitely paid off as there were stunning views over the city on this beautiful day!

Another FRA-esque attempt
Lining up 23L


An interesting sight upon takeoff - There were only 4 airlines on the ground, belonging to two alliances - the Qantas Emirates alliance and the Air NZ Virgin Australia alliance!
A beautiful winter’s day in Auckland
Looking back at Auckland Airport
Auckland City
Auckland’s North Shore East Coast Bays
A quick shot after the seatbelt sign had been turned off


I resettled into 1A after the seatbelt sign had been turned off. The great friendly Fijian service continued as we headed to warmer climates. Half an hour into the flight and lunch was served. I couldn’t believe how quiet it was in 1A.. It was amazing. I just hope I get another flight in the nose of a 747 again in the future!

The huge tray table


As recommended by the FA, I had chosen the chicken curry with coconut and coriander, cumin and pea rice, tossed beans with capsicum, sautéed tomato and onions. It was accompanied by roti/parratha, a salad and some bread. It was a very nice tasting meal and not too spicy - something I was a little worried about!

Lunch
Yum


Dessert followed shortly after lunch. The cappuccino ice cream was a little on the small side but it was a nice finish to the meal.

Dessert


With the tray table cleared, it was time for a bit more of a stretch and some relaxation in the comfortable seat.

Not the stairway to heaven on this bird!
Upper deck Economy seating
Back in 1A to relax


I got a bit of rest as the delay and adrenalin had taken its toll on me! The flight wasn’t long enough - I wish I could have flown all the way to LAX in that seat later that night! And soon enough, it was time to descend into Nadi. We touched down not long after on Runway 02. They like to use Runway 02 for landings and Runway 20 for departures due to the hills in the north.

Wonderful sunset as we approach Fiji


Here’s a video of the landing. Listen closely enough and you will hear the wonderful relaxing Fijian music playing over the PA.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewsGas3-huw

Crossing the coast of Fiji
The Fiji Airways hangar with the other (at the time) 747 in the fleet, DQ-FJL
A couple of Aussies - RAAF Hercules and Orion
Nearly there


Nadi Airport is probably famous for its open air walkways but they also have airbridges to the planes! It makes for an interesting combination! It gives that false sense of security that you’re inside once you disembark onto the airbridge and then suddenly you’re outside! I suppose it’s still under cover. Anyway, it was a lovely evening and I got out onto the walkway as the light was fading to capture this wonderful shot of both 747s - a sight never to be seen again.



Inside the terminal, there was a typical Island welcome to greet the incoming flight.


The disadvantage of being a photographer is that you want to get a good shot. In the meantime a horde of Economy passengers scuttle past you to line up for immigration. I still beat the majority and I also had priority baggage so it ended up being ok. Being in Fiji Time, things took a little while to process (immigration and bags) but there was no rush and eventually I was off to my accommodation for the night.

Baggage claim area
Arrivals hall
Jetset Accommodation, chosen for its runway view..
Except the delay meant no sunset landing shots!
And another sight which will never be seen again - DQ-FJL thundering down the runway bound for LAX


Time for a few hours’ sleep before the morning flight home!



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6391 posts, RR: 39
Reply 3, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 21655 times:

30 June 2013

I set the alarm earlier than I needed to see if I could capture a couple of arrivals with some sort of light. One plane was on time and the other was on Fiji Time, rescheduled until late evening. And that ended my first attempt at spotting in Fiji... Rather unsuccessful! I suppose I need to go back sometime!

First bit of light creeping over the horizon
Super blurry super high ISO attempt..
The runway stretches a long way


It was then time to check in and head to the airport, on the other side of the runway.

Off to the airport
KPMG Office in Nadi above a nightclub/karaoke.. Work hard play hard, right?
Passing off on a supermarket chain in New Zealand. I’ve heard that the other supermarket brands have their names used too!
Just about there
A security checkpoint? Wow..
Pulling up to the terminal


As you might have imagined, Nadi Airport’s terminal is nothing special or new. It does the job for processing passengers in modest comfort under shelter. There were long queues this morning as you’d expect for the outbound wave, mainly comprising of a 744 to SYD and an A332 to AKL. Each flight had 4 check in counters open. Once I got to the front, the check in process itself was not on Fiji Time; in fact it must have been one of the quickest check ins I’d ever had! The check in lady was so efficient that it took her what seemed like less than 20 seconds to check me in and hand me my boarding pass. Maybe having my seat preassigned made things much easier - I had rang Air Pacific up to reserve my seat in order to get good shots of the engine and wing.

Inside the terminal
Boarding pass


After experiencing that speedy check in, it was back to Fiji Time as a super long immigration queue waited to the side of check in. There were many restless kids too though it was expected seeing that the time was still around 7am. There was still a lot of time to kill once through immigration.. And not a lot to do either! The area comprises of a few duty free shops, a huge seated area and a couple of eateries. Boy did they need all those seats.. The place was rather full!

Seating area
The cool outdoor walkway to the planes I talked about earlier
Remnants from the former airline


Eventually, it was closing in on boarding time and a queue formed. I had nothing better to do than to join the line and get onboard for my flight home. There was no announcement and people started heading outside!



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6391 posts, RR: 39
Reply 4, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 21691 times:

Flight Information

30 June 2013
Routing: Nadi - Auckland (NAN-AKL)
Airline: Fiji Airways
Flight: FJ411
Scheduled Time of Departure: 0845hrs
Actual Departure: 0905hrs (pushback), 0914hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1145hrs
Touchdown: 1204hrs
Flight time: 2 hrs 50 min
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Registration: DQ-FJT
Seat: 8K


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Photo © Joel Gillan
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Photo © Keisuke Iyori


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Photo © Christian Junker - AHKGAP
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Photo © Sneeze Lam - AHKGAP



Air Pacific ordered the 3 A330-200s while at the same time cancelling their order for 787-8s due to the massive delays. They are in the process of retiring the 747 fleet and will complete that when they take delivery of the third A330 in November. DQ-FJT was the first A330-200 delivered to Fiji Airways (Mid March 2013) and was the first plane to carry the new Fiji Airways livery. They would feature improved Business Class seats and a 2-4-2 configuration in Economy. It shuffles in a new era for the airline, where frequency seems to be the way forward.

There was a nice walk outside to the plane in the morning sun as I would bid farewell to the warm weather for a few months!



Down the jetbridge I went until I reached the A330 and I was met with warm welcomes once again. One FA saw my camera and told me I could take as many pictures as I wanted! That’s the style, kudos to you for allowing me to take photos!

As you can see below, the Business Class section is fresh and it looks much like a product you’d expect for flying long haul these days compared to the deep recliner on the 744s. In fact, they look identical to the Business Class in the A330s of Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia. However, they are not lie flat seats as you’d expect - they are extra deep recliner seats if you call the 744 J seat a deep recliner. I have no pictures of it because I wasn’t flying Business but its easily searchable. They look very comfortable for relaxing in but I’m not too sure about sleeping in that seat.

Looks very welcoming and fresh
Another super friendly FA


Anyway, enough on the seat I didn’t fly on and time to head towards the back to where I was. I took a step into the bright Economy cabin. It all looked a bit sterile to me, although the theme was to be of earthy and sandy tones. I’d prefer the blue of Air Tahiti to symbolise the ocean. The layout is a standard 8 abreast 2-4-2 and comes with 32” of legroom.

Economy cabin


The seat is comfortable - something I wouldn’t mind spending a long haul flight in. It has a 7.5” recline which is also nice.

View from 8K


Fiji Airways installed the Panasonic eX2 IFE, dubbed Fiji Time; sharing a name with their inflight magazine. For the A330 flights from NAN to HKG and LAX, all IFE content is available. However for the shorter flights in Economy, some content is free and strangely enough, there’s a whole range of TV shows and movies which the passenger must pay an extra FJD10 (~USD5) to unlock the “Bula Bundle” for the rest of the flight. You’d just assume they’d put that amount into the ticket price. Tickets on Fiji Airways to the Islands are relatively expensive too and one could simply book Air New Zealand for around the same price and get a meal and movies. The other thing is that you don’t realise this until you’re actually on the plane. There was nothing while booking saying that I had to pay for content.. Mind you, I booked through the Air Pacific website. But by making a dummy booking on the new website, I didn’t see anything saying whether not you have to pay for some IFE content - they really should let people know as many travellers don’t like these ancillary costs. You had to forage through the website to find any such information regarding paying for the majority of content. In saying that, they have a very good section on the history of the airline and what the patterns used on the tail mean.

Changing welcome screen
Main menu
Not a long flight ahead
History section
Whoops
Very small IFE box


At the scheduled departure time, a FA made an announcement that the plane needed to be refueled. Just to make sure we were still on Fiji Time and the holiday hadn’t quite finished! Pushback occurred 20 minutes later. The clever design of the airport minimises taxi times when normal operations are underway.. That is Runway 02 landings and Runway 20 departures. The terminal is very close to the threshold of Runway 20. We snuck in front of the 744 bound for SYD and just like that, we were off. My shortest non-transfer stay in a country was over!

Bye Fiji!
Mood lighting


A quarter of an hour after takeoff, the FAs were up handing out towelettes.



Another 20 minutes later, the snack (not substantial enough to really be called breakfast) was served. It comprised of a hot wrap with the filling of egg which looked like an omelette and something else inside it to the consistency and taste of steamed dumpling pastry. In the box, there was a small tub of yoghurt, juice and a biscuit. A big change from the day before, that’s for sure!



It was quite average but I ate it all seeing I was hungry and the meal was by no means inedible. A drinks trolley followed shortly after with Fiji Water, tea and coffee. I asked for a Coke and was frustrated by the response of either an ignorant look or we don’t have it look. I couldn’t decipher what that look was and I settled with water. It made me a bit confused as I’m sure I saw a drinks trolley at the back when I went for a wander around the cabin.

Economy cabin
A huge toilet, great for... Changing babies
The last row in Economy is the crew rest


I headed back to my seat for a bit of a snooze and soon enough, we were flying along the coast of Northland.

Paihia, Russell and the Bay of Islands in this shot


And not long after, we were already making our approach into Auckland.

Approach over Waiheke Island
Wonderful Hauraki Gulf
Short final
Reverse thrusters


We taxied into Gate 2, the gate I had set out from the day earlier. Call that a quick round trip!



Upon disembarking, I asked if I could visit the cockpit. The lovely flight attendant was extremely apologetic when she told me that they were busy as there was training going on and this was still a relatively new aircraft type. I took the time to take a couple more snaps of the Business cabin before I was off and back home!

Conclusion
Air Pacific has successfully rebranded itself into Fiji Airways. With the cabin and livery getting a refresh, the great staff remain with the airline, providing a warm hospitality the Pacific Islands should be proud of. Passengers seem to be embracing the new product on the A330 but us enthusiasts along with some of the flight attendants I talked to are sad to see the 747 disappear. With one down, the end is inevitable. But the move to more efficient aircraft and higher frequencies might just help them perform better than in the past. I certainly hope to see them flying in many years time - it’d be such a shame to lose an airline which has served the South Pacific for many decades. With little tweaks here and there, I’m sure the airline can make it to being a decent choice for trans Pacific air travel.


Thanks everyone for joining me! Don’t forget that comments are appreciated!

Cheers,
Nicholas

Camera Equipment:
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

http://www.nickyoungphotos.com
http://www.facebook.com/NickYoungPhotos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/anz787900/
http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?pid=17353

Previous Trip Reports:
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 1/2: AKL-ZQN-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 2/2: AKL-NPE-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air New Zealand: NZ105 AKL-SYD Economy (by NZ107 Feb 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
A Whale Of A Time: Emirates A380 Inaugural SYD-AKL (by NZ107 Feb 15 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 1 Air NZ AKL-WLG-AKL (by NZ107 Jun 24 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 2 JQ/DJ AKL (by NZ107 Jul 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 1: Air NZ AKL-CHC-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 2: EK A380 Revisited (by NZ107 Jan 8 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 3: East Coast Adventure (by NZ107 Feb 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 4: Int'l On Domestic (by NZ107 Feb 23 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 5: Capital Stopover (by NZ107 Apr 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 6: Homebound On EK A380 (by NZ107 Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion (by NZ107 Jul 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
A Touch Of Nostalgia - Jumpseating The CV580 (by NZ107 Aug 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Mission A340: Aerolineas Argentinas A342 AKL-SYD (by NZ107 Sep 1 2010 in Trip Reports)
Mission A340: Emirates A340-500 MEL-AKL (by NZ107 Nov 12 2010 in Trip Reports)
Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route (by NZ107 Dec 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO (by NZ107 Jan 5 2011 in Trip Reports)
Grabbing A Delay And An Upgrade: NZ5- Upper Deck (by NZ107 Jan 30 2011 in Trip Reports)
Y+ Spaceseat, The Trial: NZ 77W Inaugural AKL-MEL (by NZ107 Feb 25 2011 in Trip Reports)
Domestic Joyriding With Globetraveller; Sky Golf? (by NZ107 Mar 31 2012 in Trip Reports)
The Cathay Pacific Intercontinental Marathon (by NZ107 Jul 2 2012 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Around Europe (by NZ107 Apr 1 2013 in Trip Reports)



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineYtraveller From United States of America, joined exactly 1 years ago today! , 164 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 21429 times:

Good job on the trip report.  

Being a "younger" enthusiast, I'm fascinated by their modern rebranding, having never really liked the old livery that payed little to no homage to the airline's base, Fiji. Plus, I love the A330, and for some odd reason just love the appearance of those PTV's in particular (Panasonic eFX?), which I've seen on Delta, Hawaiian, etc. before.


User currently offlinekilauea717 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 21360 times:

747-800 in the 1990's?!? They were ahead of their time!

User currently offlinecelestar From Singapore, joined exactly 13 years ago today! , 391 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 20715 times:

Very nice TR, especially the photo taken on the color of Fiji livery. Really interested and hope to have an opportunity to try them.

User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 1973 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 20437 times:

Great read and fantastic photos. Sad to see yet another airline lose their 747s, for as your photos demonstrate they have so much character about them in contrast to Yet Another A330!


Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6707 posts, RR: 78
Reply 9, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 20270 times:

Hi Nicholas,

great report with stunning pictures! What a nice idea to try Air Pacific/Fiji Airways, a very exotic airline from a European point of view! The new livery looks great IMO.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):

It is one airline which has all Economy seating (3-3) on the upper deck. Not exactly the stairway to heaven compared to other airlines!

But it's still a nice cabin, even in Y Class.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
At least it had the one programme I wanted the most - the airshow map.

What else do you need?

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
This motif is also on the tail of the Fiji Airways liver

Very cool.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I couldn’t believe how quiet it was in 1A.. It was amazing. I just hope I get another flight in the nose of a 747 again in the future!

I had 1A on a trip in March and wasn't overly impressed - I simply missed seeing a part of the wing.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Super blurry super high ISO attempt..

Still a cool picture.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
They look very comfortable for relaxing in but I’m not too sure about sleeping in that seat.

Still much better than Y Class. I think people are too obsessed with lie flat or almost lie flat...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
It all looked a bit sterile to me, although the theme was to be of earthy and sandy tones. I’d prefer the blue of Air Tahiti to symbolise the ocean.

I agree - not colorful enough.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Whoops

So Fiji Airways is the first airline to retire the 748...  


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2396 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 19931 times:

Sorry, but I can't see a single pic from your TR. Can you try to fix it?

User currently offlineNZ747 From New Zealand, joined Dec 2004, 967 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 19755 times:

Nice report NZ107

Having flown on the FJ A330 myself, I must say that it's nice they are finally catching up with the rest of the world. It's a pitty you didn't travel on DQ-FJL's last AKL - NAN FJ411 flight on the 8th July, however this was originally an A330 flight so difficult to know in advance. DQ-FJK last flew the route a week after you flew it.

Cheers


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7081 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 19641 times:

Make the most of the 744s before they are gone from our part of the world. Thanks for sharing, great report as always

User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1736 posts, RR: 39
Reply 13, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 19262 times:

Another great trip report as usual Nick. Glad to see someone covering the new Fiji Airways.

Its hard to imagine those business class seats on the 747 were considered one of the most modern and comfortable business class seats back when Ansett introduced them in 1999. All you have to do is look at CX's latest J seat to realize how far business class travel has come!

Truth be told, I was never really all that interested in the airline till they announced the A330 and rebranding to Fiji Airways. That seemed to have grabbed my attention. I am a sucker for a modern product combined with old style hospitality and that seems to be Fiji Airways new style. This definitely puts them on my list of "must fly."


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3163 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 19093 times:

Super report Nic!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The management decided to change the name back to Business Class from Tabua Class and also Economy Class from Pacific Voyager.

Good move - I'm not a fan of these silly brand names

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
As I wanted to take some photos on board before anyone else got on, I asked the (Air NZ) gate agent whether it was ok to board early seeing it was the last Air Pacific 744 flight out of Auckland. She kindly agreed and beeped my boarding pass through, allowing me to board with the many elderly folk needing assistance.

Nice of her, and great for you/us.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
It is one airline which has all Economy seating (3-3) on the upper deck. Not exactly the stairway to heaven compared to other airlines!

Still better than 99% of Y seating! I'm flying on one of the last high density NH 744s in a few weeks - i'm booked in Y upstairs and can't wait

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):

Today was my first time turning left at the door!

Next time in Europe, fly Ryanair and board at the back...you can turn left then too!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I couldn’t believe how quiet it was in 1A.. It was amazing. I just hope I get another flight in the nose of a 747 again in the future!

It is a great place to sit. I had the same seat TPE-NRT on Eva Air, and walking from there to the toilet at 2R really made you realise the difference in noise

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Wonderful sunset as we approach Fiji

Super photo

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
In fact, they look identical to the Business Class in the A330s of Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia. However, they are not lie flat seats as you’d expect - they are extra deep recliner seats if you call the 744 J seat a deep recliner. I have no pictures of it because I wasn’t flying Business but its easily searchable. They look very comfortable for relaxing in but I’m not too sure about sleeping in that seat.

Interesting. I noticed that they were the same as SQ. I wonder why the didn't go for the full flat option? Slightly less pitch I guess. Still, comfy for a long day flight.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
However for the shorter flights in Economy, some content is free and strangely enough, there’s a whole range of TV shows and movies which the passenger must pay an extra FJD10 (~USD5) to unlock the “Bula Bundle” for the rest of the flight. You’d just assume they’d put that amount into the ticket price
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
A drinks trolley followed shortly after with Fiji Water, tea and coffee. I asked for a Coke and was frustrated by the response of either an ignorant look or we don’t have it look.

Hmm, seems like they're cost cutting. Not a fan of pay-for TV on planes, nor for a poor drinks trolley



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3173 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 18766 times:

Great photos. I have flown Air Pacific on the 747 and the cabin crew do a great job, very friendly, I find the IFE not brilliant but it was enough for the 4 hour flight I took on SYD-NAN and return.

Liked your photos from the take off from Auckland, I wish I could take photos that good.



Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 18464 times:

What a great report! Air Pacific ehrm Fiji Airways seems like a great carrier, especially in Business. What a nice way to witness their rebranding. And some fantastic photos as always too!

User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 18342 times:

Amazing report Nicholas! .. The pictures are absolutely amazing!

Glad that this report is out, as i have been waiting for it since you mentioned it a while ago!  

While i do like the Fiji Airways re-brand, i can't help feeling a little saddened to see the legacy Air Pacific disappear. Maybe because it was the branding i experienced, or maybe because it relates to yet another phase-out of the 747. But nonetheless, the classic soft product seems like is still around, and to me that is most important  
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
A shot taken the weekend before shows huge queues for check in and the old signage.

I love the Tabua Class logo, and my question here was going to be whether or not their cabin class names are changing along with the rebrand but ....

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The management decided to change the name back to Business Class from Tabua Class and also Economy Class from Pacific Voyager.

Here's my answer. haha.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Registration: DQ-FJK

Same one i was on!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Today was my first time turning left at the door!

LOL .. nice one!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The other thing which was definitely noticed was the Fijian music softly playing over the speakers, creating a really relaxed feel as we all stepped into Fiji Time.

It is my favourite island-ish music. Very uplifting!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Taken from Roni’s favourite seat

Haha .. i swear it feels like you have full control of the nose from that seat!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Drink and food menus

Looks better than the older menus! I hope they weren't confusing as the older menus were!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Together, the three flight attendants in the Business Class cabin took their time to introduce themselves to each and every Business Class passenger and welcomed us onboard. That added a great touch to the service - something I’d never seen before and something you might expect from a First Class cabin.

Very nice. They were like that on my HKG-NAN flight. Very professional and very CX-like. Unfortunately on the AKL flight they were a bit more routine.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
As recommended by the FA, I had chosen the chicken curry with coconut and coriander, cumin and pea rice, tossed beans with capsicum, sautéed tomato and onions. It was accompanied by roti/parratha, a salad and some bread. It was a very nice tasting meal and not too spicy - something I was a little worried about!

Looks great!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Inside the terminal, there was a typical Island welcome to greet the incoming flight.

They're still there!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
The area comprises of a few duty free shops, a huge seated area and a couple of eateries. Boy did they need all those seats.. The place was rather full!

Indeed it is a very crowded area! There is very little to do!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
One FA saw my camera and told me I could take as many pictures as I wanted! That’s the style, kudos to you for allowing me to take photos!

That's the spirit!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
but I’m not too sure about sleeping in that seat.

Not so great on a flight like AUH-SIN.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
Another super friendly FA

Looks like El Tropicale SQ

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
It all looked a bit sterile to me, although the theme was to be of earthy and sandy tones. I’d prefer the blue of Air Tahiti to symbolise the ocean.

Not bad looking for sure. But i agree with you on the sterility thing! Even Air Austral's black seats had a nice funk to them on the 772  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
View from 8K

Very nice engine!!!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
“Bula Bundle”

LOL!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
You’d just assume they’d put that amount into the ticket price. Tickets on Fiji Airways to the Islands are relatively expensive too and one could simply book Air New Zealand for around the same price and get a meal and movies. The other thing is that you don’t realise this until you’re actually on the plane. There was nothing while booking saying that I had to pay for content.. Mind you, I booked through the Air Pacific website. But by making a dummy booking on the new website, I didn’t see anything saying whether not you have to pay for some IFE content - they really should let people know as many travellers don’t like these ancillary costs. You had to forage through the website to find any such information regarding paying for the majority of content. In saying that, they have a very good section on the history of the airline and what the patterns used on the tail mean.

Very interesting. To me they seem like they have positioned themselves as more of a holiday airline with a premium touch. I can definitely say that their Business Class product is very on par with leading airlines. So i wouldn't expect to pay a charge for anything in Economy regardless.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
Another 20 minutes later, the snack (not substantial enough to really be called breakfast) was served. It comprised of a hot wrap with the filling of egg which looked like an omelette and something else inside it to the consistency and taste of steamed dumpling pastry. In the box, there was a small tub of yoghurt, juice and a biscuit. A big change from the day before, that’s for sure!

I wonder how the meals were with Air Pacific?


Thanks for sharing this with us! Looking forward to more!!

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2472 posts, RR: 15
Reply 18, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 18046 times:

Hey Nicholas

Great report,
Nice combination of having the old (nostalgic) 747 on the outbound and the newer 330 back on the inboud.
Great you have had one of the last 747s as well.
Fiji seems to have a good product, I liked the welcoming in Nadi.
Awesome high quality pics as well.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1215 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 17837 times:
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Nicholas absolutely amazing report...but then I've come to expect nothing less from you....Definitely from a breed of well seasoned writers from on here....

The pics are amazing..and nice to see the cabin crew in these. They seem to bring their Island hospitality in their smiles!!

Thank you for bringing both the old and new of this airline here together in one report. I love the new Fiji Airways colours...


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6391 posts, RR: 39
Reply 20, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 17697 times:

Thanks everyone for your comments! My apologies in advance for Google's bandwidth limit. If you can't see photos now, try again in a few days, or maybe even just after midnight PDT (Pacific Daylight Time, GMT-7), when it seems like Google's limit refreshes itself for another day...

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 5):
Being a "younger" enthusiast, I'm fascinated by their modern rebranding, having never really liked the old livery that payed little to no homage to the airline's base, Fiji. Plus, I love the A330, and for some odd reason just love the appearance of those PTV's in particular (Panasonic eFX?), which I've seen on Delta, Hawaiian, etc. before.

Thanks Ytraveller! At first, I was a bit apprehensive with this change, seeing that the colourful tail was going to disappear and be replaced by brown. It has been nice seeing it around but I know it will wear thin on me because the livery itself is boring. And yes, Panasonic's eX3 system is used by many airlines around the world.



Quoting kilauea717 (Reply 6):
747-800 in the 1990's?!? They were ahead of their time!

They sure were!

Quoting celestar (Reply 7):
Very nice TR, especially the photo taken on the color of Fiji livery. Really interested and hope to have an opportunity to try them.

Thanks!

Quoting allrite (Reply 8):
Great read and fantastic photos. Sad to see yet another airline lose their 747s, for as your photos demonstrate they have so much character about them in contrast to Yet Another A330!

Thanks A! It sure is sad to see another airline shed itself of the 747. Too true, there is so much character in these birds when comparing them to the A330. You still have a chance to see it in Sydney every Sunday until November!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
great report with stunning pictures! What a nice idea to try Air Pacific/Fiji Airways, a very exotic airline from a European point of view! The new livery looks great IMO.

Thanks PH! I'm glad I did this trip to get old and new before it was too late.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
But it's still a nice cabin, even in Y Class.

Of course.. It was pretty much empty for my flight - somehow 'blocked off and guarded' by the flight attendants too for some odd reason. Even though I wanted to take a picture and the FA knew I was in J and wouldn't be migrating there for the flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
What else do you need?

Great service from the FAs!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
I had 1A on a trip in March and wasn't overly impressed - I simply missed seeing a part of the wing.

I didn't care too much for the view of the wings while I was there.. I would have liked a nicer wing shot upon departure but I'm not complaining one bit - I'd rather be in Business than in Economy!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
Still much better than Y Class. I think people are too obsessed with lie flat or almost lie flat...

It should be. But still, you go 90% of the way to offering a lie flat but fall short of providing a flat surface.. It's just a little odd that they've decided to leave it at that. I'm not an advocate for angled lie flats - I think they're horrible. But then they could market the fact that they have a lie flat Business product via the Islands - something that can't be replicated until you hit NZ's direct AKL-HNL (only on the 772 when that operates) and AKL-SFO/LAX flights.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
So Fiji Airways is the first airline to retire the 748...

And I've also flown on a 748?  
Quoting debonair (Reply 10):
Sorry, but I can't see a single pic from your TR. Can you try to fix it?

Sorry, bandwidth problems.. I can't do anything about it. It'll just have to be a waiting (and timing) game to find a time when they will appear, maybe a few days down the track.

Quoting NZ747 (Reply 11):
Nice report NZ107

Having flown on the FJ A330 myself, I must say that it's nice they are finally catching up with the rest of the world. It's a pitty you didn't travel on DQ-FJL's last AKL - NAN FJ411 flight on the 8th July, however this was originally an A330 flight so difficult to know in advance. DQ-FJK last flew the route a week after you flew it.

Thanks NZ747! The product on the A330 does look modern.. A big stretch from Y in the 744. But for such a short flight, it didn't really matter to me! I took the last scheduled flight (booked a few months prior) to make sure I got it. The last two flights were ad-hoc services to coincide with the school holidays.. My guess is that FJ screwed up the NZ school holiday calendar and had to make amends! Also I had to do this over a weekend in order to get back to work on Monday   I take it you would have flown the 744s when they were still under the Air Pacific banner? What were the meals like compared to the current meal?

Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 12):
Make the most of the 744s before they are gone from our part of the world. Thanks for sharing, great report as always

Thanks! Yeah, true story. It's making me want to randomly catch that CI 744 in/out of AKL.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 13):
Another great trip report as usual Nick. Glad to see someone covering the new Fiji Airways.

Thanks Anosh! I just had to try it out for myself or it would have had me wondering!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 13):
Its hard to imagine those business class seats on the 747 were considered one of the most modern and comfortable business class seats back when Ansett introduced them in 1999. All you have to do is look at CX's latest J seat to realize how far business class travel has come!

Technology certainly has come a long way, there's no doubt about that! They're still extremely comfortable seats but I wish I could try them out on a long haul to see how nice they are to sleep in. 14 years ago and nobody had colour or touchscreen phones and the IFE on the 744 must have been something! Even in 2003, Air NZ didn't have PTVs so those who flew Air Pacific to Fiji would have been impressed by the system. It's true to say that the Business Class seat has come a long way to where it is now!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 13):
Truth be told, I was never really all that interested in the airline till they announced the A330 and rebranding to Fiji Airways. That seemed to have grabbed my attention. I am a sucker for a modern product combined with old style hospitality and that seems to be Fiji Airways new style. This definitely puts them on my list of "must fly."

Catching Air Pacific to Fiji has always been an expensive option from AKL for some reason. Tickets are much cheaper ex-NAN than ex-AKL, something seemingly atypical from an airline. This was one hindrance for me to try them as my money was better spent heading to Australia (for cheaper) or somewhere long haul (better value). But I grabbed at this chance before the end of the FJ 744 to AKL and had to find a way home   You're right - mixing the service I got onboard Business on the 744 with the new A330 hard product seems to be quite a winner! I look forward to you making the extra flight to AKL if you do try them!  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14):
Super report Nic!

Thanks Gab!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14):
Good move - I'm not a fan of these silly brand names

While I agree with the Economy Class being named something else, I thought that the name Tabua Class brought some personality to the whole thing. Of course, when you hit the likes of BA with their ridiculous Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller, it's kinda stupid. But That's because they're using the same word over and over again so that they look the same or something. I was continually disappointed when I was clicking on World Traveller reports to find out that they were only flying Y  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14):
Still better than 99% of Y seating! I'm flying on one of the last high density NH 744s in a few weeks - i'm booked in Y upstairs and can't wait

Of course! Seems like an exclusive club as they charge you more (for their LAX flights) to sit there. I think you can pay USD400 and get 3 seats to yourself on the upper deck. Far better value than Air NZ's Premium Economy. Nice, I wish I could join you in Japan!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14):
Next time in Europe, fly Ryanair and board at the back...you can turn left then too!

Haha, whoops.. I should have discounted all the times I've boarded an AT7, 738 or A320 by the rear door   Mind you, my only FR flight had me boarding through 1L - no back door option!!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14):
It is a great place to sit. I had the same seat TPE-NRT on Eva Air, and walking from there to the toilet at 2R really made you realise the difference in noise

Indeed.. There's a huge difference depending on where you sit in the cabin. It makes me wonder how nice sitting up the front of a MD-80 (or any other rear engine jet) is. I suppose I'm not the typical enthusiast as I hated sitting next to the DC9 engine!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14):
Interesting. I noticed that they were the same as SQ. I wonder why the didn't go for the full flat option? Slightly less pitch I guess. Still, comfy for a long day flight.

Who knows.. Maybe they wanted to fit in an extra row of seats in.. And even if it'd be comfortable for a long day flight, FJ only has one long day flight in NAN-HKG, which operates 2x weekly. All US flights are redeyes.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14):
Hmm, seems like they're cost cutting. Not a fan of pay-for TV on planes, nor for a poor drinks trolley

I think so. It didn't stop you from viewing a few things but maybe the bits you actually wanted to watch were marked as premium content. What can you do.. And what can you do about a poor drinks trolley as wel!

Quoting BNE (Reply 15):
Great photos. I have flown Air Pacific on the 747 and the cabin crew do a great job, very friendly, I find the IFE not brilliant but it was enough for the 4 hour flight I took on SYD-NAN and return.

Liked your photos from the take off from Auckland, I wish I could take photos that good.

Thanks B! Yes, I really enjoyed the hospitality received by the crew. Did you fly J or Y?
Haha. It takes patience and practice.. Doesn't come overnight you know!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 16):
What a great report! Air Pacific ehrm Fiji Airways seems like a great carrier, especially in Business. What a nice way to witness their rebranding. And some fantastic photos as always too!

Thanks Robert! Haha, I forgot to mention within the report that others were also having the problem remembering that the transition had taken place and they'd be saying "Air Pa... Fiji Airways". I won't mind flying them again, that's for sure.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Amazing report Nicholas! .. The pictures are absolutely amazing!

Thanks Roni! Hope it brought back some memories of your flight on them!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Glad that this report is out, as i have been waiting for it since you mentioned it a while ago!

Good things take time  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
While i do like the Fiji Airways re-brand, i can't help feeling a little saddened to see the legacy Air Pacific disappear. Maybe because it was the branding i experienced, or maybe because it relates to yet another phase-out of the 747. But nonetheless, the classic soft product seems like is still around, and to me that is most important

So am I. Ever since I saw the release of what the new livery was going to look like, I was lamenting over the end of the rainbow and the introduction of this bland brown and white livery. The 744's time was (sadly) up with this airline. But you're right, the classic soft product (more notable in Business, as usual) is more important and they'll continue to do well serving their country.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
It is my favourite island-ish music. Very uplifting!

Very uplifting, very relaxing and maybe I'd fly them again just for that experience! Stress seems to get left on the airbridge  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Haha .. i swear it feels like you have full control of the nose from that seat!

Does it help that the pilots are probably sitting directly above you as well? Haha.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Looks better than the older menus! I hope they weren't confusing as the older menus were!

Looking back at your report, they are far smaller and just like any other menu I had come across.. Nothing about it was confusing!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Very nice. They were like that on my HKG-NAN flight. Very professional and very CX-like. Unfortunately on the AKL flight they were a bit more routine.

I think they were more CX-like than CX! I've never had the entire team greet me at the same time - it was always just the purser, ISM or maybe both but not the whole crew! I'm glad that the crew were so great on the AKL-NAN flight.. They were definitely tired as they do the whole NAN-AKL-NAN run and don't disembark in AKL. That delay of a couple of hours seemed to take a bit out of them as well. They certainly maintained their professionalism.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
They're still there!

Hahaha. I don't think they'll disappear any time soon!  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Indeed it is a very crowded area! There is very little to do!

A bit of a shame. And I ponder why they recommend everyone being at the airport 3 hours before the flight. Once you get though, there's absolutely nothing to do unless you really enjoy looking through the same items in duty free as you'd find at other airports around the world.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Not so great on a flight like AUH-SIN.

I suppose you're not a fan of these seats? Not even the lie flat version?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Not bad looking for sure. But i agree with you on the sterility thing! Even Air Austral's black seats had a nice funk to them on the 772

Yeah, a bit of a shame they didn't spruce things up a little more. I suppose any 8 abreast A330 wouldn't look bad though. They had an opportunity to make an expression on the inside too.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Very interesting. To me they seem like they have positioned themselves as more of a holiday airline with a premium touch. I can definitely say that their Business Class product is very on par with leading airlines. So i wouldn't expect to pay a charge for anything in Economy regardless.

I question this decision though.. I mean how hard is it to include this FJD5 into the ticket, especially when the price is fairly expensive? It's not a huge increase in price and it's not like the amount will mean someone would choose another airline over another. It also means that they'll get less negative feedback by customers wanting to watch something which needed to be paid for. Air NZ has lowered themselves to this 'holiday airline with a premium touch' type business too.. They've been trying to attract both the low cost market and premium market at the same time for a few years now. It's all too confusing for many people!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
I wonder how the meals were with Air Pacific?

Something I wonder too.. Maybe someone has some pictures...

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 18):
Great report,
Nice combination of having the old (nostalgic) 747 on the outbound and the newer 330 back on the inboud.
Great you have had one of the last 747s as well.
Fiji seems to have a good product, I liked the welcoming in Nadi.
Awesome high quality pics as well.

Thanks Marc! That was all part of the plan.. I didn't want to take a boring 738 back to AKL.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 19):
Nicholas absolutely amazing report...but then I've come to expect nothing less from you....Definitely from a breed of well seasoned writers from on here....

Thanks flightsimboy! You continue to add to the pressure put on me  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 19):
The pics are amazing..and nice to see the cabin crew in these. They seem to bring their Island hospitality in their smiles!!

They sure do! They were the ones who wanted to be in the photos - I'm usually someone to go for pics without people but they were very willing to be in these photos I couldn't refuse!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 19):
Thank you for bringing both the old and new of this airline here together in one report. I love the new Fiji Airways colours...

You're welcome!


Thanks again everyone!

Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2396 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (11 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 17312 times:

Great TR, fantastic pictures...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Air Pacific was officially re-renamed Fiji Airways on the 27th June 2013. ... With this change came the new logo, uniforms, meals and all the bits and pieces served to the passengers.

Very sad to see, that the "brain" behind this transformation CEO David Pflieger resigned before the (his) transformation was finished - even if he was controversial! Hope the new CEO and management will use this unique chance to lead the "new" airline into profits...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The management decided to change the name back to Business Class from Tabua Class and also Economy Class from Pacific Voyager.

I like the new colors and the new look, but on the other hand, it's so plain... With they would have kept at least the class names for the nostalgic touch...

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
But by making a dummy booking on the new website, I didn’t see anything saying whether not you have to pay for some IFE content - they really should let people know as many travellers don’t like these ancillary costs.

Not true: http://www.fijiairways.com/flight-information/in-flight-entertainment/

For our passengers on shorter flights, you can still relax with a range of complimentary in-flight entertainment options. For those wanting access to a premium range of in-flight entertainment, we also offer our Bula Bundle, which is available to purchase onboard once your in-flight entertainment is activated, offering an expanded range of entertainment options for our Economy class guests.


User currently offlinedirktraveller From Singapore, joined Jan 2011, 551 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (11 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16825 times:

Hi Nicholas,

Fantastic trip report, not to mention the excellent pictures. Although I am not really a big fan of the new "Fiji Air" livery compared to the old colorful "Air Pacific", but the combination of colors on the new interior makes it look great.
Hopefully I could try Fiji Air one day!  

Thanks for sharing this great report.

Regards,
Dirktraveller.


User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (11 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 16504 times:

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Hope it brought back some memories of your flight on them!

It sure did!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Stress seems to get left on the airbridge  

Haha so true!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Does it help that the pilots are probably sitting directly above you as well? Haha.

Good point! You could be right! hehe

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
A bit of a shame. And I ponder why they recommend everyone being at the airport 3 hours before the flight. Once you get though, there's absolutely nothing to do unless you really enjoy looking through the same items in duty free as you'd find at other airports around the world.

And their lounge over there was even worse!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
I suppose you're not a fan of these seats? Not even the lie flat version?

I found the SQ version to be quite uncomfortable in its angled flat position. It felt too cramped. Give me CX's old-school recliners any day   haha.

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6391 posts, RR: 39
Reply 24, posted (11 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 16183 times:

Quoting debonair (Reply 21):
Great TR, fantastic pictures...

Thanks!

Quoting debonair (Reply 21):
I like the new colors and the new look, but on the other hand, it's so plain... With they would have kept at least the class names for the nostalgic touch...

Indeed, so plain.

Quoting debonair (Reply 21):
Not true: http://www.fijiairways.com/flight-information/in-flight-entertainment/

For our passengers on shorter flights, you can still relax with a range of complimentary in-flight entertainment options. For those wanting access to a premium range of in-flight entertainment, we also offer our Bula Bundle, which is available to purchase onboard once your in-flight entertainment is activated, offering an expanded range of entertainment options for our Economy class guests.

You could have read the next sentence of mine:

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
You had to forage through the website to find any such information regarding paying for the majority of content. In saying that, they have a very good section on the history of the airline and what the patterns used on the tail mean.

A dummy booking is a dummy booking: using the find flights and proceeding until you're about to pay and then quitting. A dummy booking doesn't mean foraging through the rest of the website's pages. How many passengers are likely to go through the website looking for information such as if the IFE is free? Many would assume it's free, if there was any.

Quoting dirktraveller (Reply 22):
Fantastic trip report, not to mention the excellent pictures. Although I am not really a big fan of the new "Fiji Air" livery compared to the old colorful "Air Pacific", but the combination of colors on the new interior makes it look great.
Hopefully I could try Fiji Air one day!

Thanks Dirktraveller! Indeed, hopefully you can try them someday!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 23):
And their lounge over there was even worse!

I had no access   haha. Glad I chose to go in J on the 744, which in turn meant missing out on the NAN lounge!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 23):
I found the SQ version to be quite uncomfortable in its angled flat position. It felt too cramped. Give me CX's old-school recliners any day haha.

Good to know for the future! Pretty much rules out me flying their A330 in J  


Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
25 chepos : Great trip report, loved your shots of New Zealand.
26 ronerone : I do agree here too. I mean, sure they did include the information somewhere and they saved themselves legally and what not. But it needs to be in yo
27 The777Man : Hi Nicholas ! Fantastic report with amazing pictures ! Great to see a comparison between Air Pacific and Fiji Airways! That's very bad; it's not NZ bu
28 MHTripple7 : Great report, FJ looks like it's making some serious strides to improve. I am particularly impressed with the seemingly genuine warmness of the cabin
29 Widebodyroga : What an amazing report NZ107, full of jaw-dropping quality photos. Very impressive performance by your Canon equipment (and you of course!). Thank you
30 Post contains images NZ107 : Thanks Chepos! Check out my other trip reports for more pictures of New Zealand That's right.. There should be something in your face letting you kno
31 lukeyboy95 : Hi Nicholas. Excellent report sir! Really enjoyed the read, and I also bet you were glad for the delay on the outbound. Any extra time on a place is a
32 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Nicholas, What an excellent report with simply stunning photos. From the high quality cabin shots, to the departure views of Auckland and those awe
33 Post contains images NZ107 : Hi Luke, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed! There were two sides to the delay - yes, I wanted to spend as much time as I could onboard but I a
34 lukeyboy95 : Hi Nicholas. Ah, but you got some atmospheric night shots so not a completely lost cause. . ., though I take it none could be added to the Anet databa
35 ZK-NBT : Great report Nicholas! I flew FJ last week AKL-NAN-AKL. Very friendly crew, I also found it odd that you had to pay extra for IFE, good to know for lo
36 Post contains images NZ107 : Hi again Luke, I did, and I was lucky to do so.. But I also wanted to get some action shots while I had this 'room with a view' (I would expect my nex
37 MIAspotter : Great report from a place that has little coverage here. Fiji Airways seems to offer a nice product, and the A330 cabin loos very nice. Wish I had the
38 RobMEL : I'm due to fly on Fiji Airways in about 3 weeks, SYD-NAN and return. I'd hoped to write the first report, looks like I was beaten to it. Interestingly
39 Post contains images NZ107 : Thanks! Not sure whether you're based in MIA or Spain but you could be only a flight away from catching one (ex-LAX)! I couldn't pass this opportunit
40 britjap : Hi NZ107, Very nice report here with really excellent pictures. A weekend trip to Fiji !!!!... not words that one hears together all that often. Great
41 NZ107 : Thanks Britjap! Haha yes, a first for me and anyone I know.. Usually you take a week off in Fiji, not go there and turn around after one night! Indee
42 767747 : Another great report, NZ107! Sorry I didn't get to this report until now. Too bad to see Air Pacific/Fiji Airways getting rid of their 747's; Really n
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