Mamanuca Environment Society was honoured to witness the unveiling of Air Pacific’s new Airbus A330-200 aircraft to the world in style on Fiji Day Wednesday, October 10.
The team consisted of Project Manager Betani Salusalu, Field Officers Soropepeli Soro and Matareti Mateiwai and yours truly were invited as partners of Air Pacific’s Corporate Social Responsibility to attend the event.
Led by the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and Air Pacific Chief Executive Officer Dave Pflieger the new look was launched to much pomp and ceremony.
Speaking at the launch, Commodore Bainimarama said nothing that symbolises our nation’s independence more than our national airline as it carries our flag and the renowned hospitality of our people to some of the great cities of our region – Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong.
“It is a matter for great national pride to have our own airline bearing the name of our nation, carrying Fijians to the world and global visitors to our shores. We regard Air Pacific as an essential industry because it is. And not just to our economy, which depends on the visitors it brings to our country. It is essential to the sense of pride and independence that we are celebrating on this day.
“The child in all of us thrills at the advances in aviation in our lifetimes. The Fijian in all of us thrills at the idea that our own airline will soon carry our name to the great cities of the Asia Pacific.The airline business is notoriously cutthroat and the airlines of many of our island neighbours have fallen victim along the way.”
Commodore Bainimarama said it’s a matter of great pride to me that the design came from within Fiji, by a woman named Makareta Matemosi. Her masi design will be emblazoned on state-of-the-art jets landing at airports across the Asia Pacific.
“My government supports competition. You always have a choice when it comes to deciding which airline you fly. But as your Prime Minister, I appeal to you to consider making the new Fiji Airways your first choice whenever you travel.It is our national airline. It belongs largely to us. It is a symbol of our nation and its determination to succeed. Fly the airline with the masi on it,” Commodore Bainimarama said.
He also pay tribute to the management team led by Dave Pfleiger, “an American citizen who we have come to regard as an honorary Fijian for his dedication and skill.”
Mr Pflieger said the launch marked one of many firsts for the national airline adding these firsts would bode well for the airline workers and the country.
“Ultimately our “new horizons” will enhance the quality of life of all Fijians, as we help Fiji’s economy strengthen and grow,” Mr Pflieger said.