TOKYO, Japan – If you’re like me and took either a 10-hour flight from Nadi to Hong Kong or Seoul (including a domestic flight at an ungodly hour), only to transit for a few hours (not to mention all the hassle lugging your carry on from one terminal to another) just to get on a flight to Narita in Tokyo but not for another two to four hours, well, we have got some good news for you!
Fiji Airways has decided to resume “direct” flights from Nadi – Narita in a bid to entice more Japanese tourists our way. But you’ll have to wait a little while longer. The direct flights are expected to resume in mid- 2018.
The national carrier is holding a seminar next Friday, on the 27th of October, here in Tokyo for this very purpose.
“This seminar by Fiji Airways is in anticipation of the direct flight, creating awareness and making the necessary connections and network with the people in the travel and tourism industry in Japan,” said Mr. Isikeli Nadolo, the First Secretary at the Fiji Embassy based in Tokyo.
The decision by the country’s airline ties in quite well with the Embassy’s efforts to diversify trade cooperation with Japan. Only last month, a Trade and Investment Seminar was held in Tokyo where 70 professionals from the Japanese government and corporate sector attended. “The first time the focus is on Japanese SMEs to seriously consider investment projects and business opportunities in Fiji,” added Fijian Ambassador to Japan, Mr. Isikeli Maitaitoga.
And it works both ways. Fijian businesses are breaking ground entering markets here in Japan too. Last month with the Fiji Embassy’s assistance, two local businesses were able to secure and expand their markets and operations in Japan. “One was Navunisareki Logging and the other was Tri-Pacific Marine that export frozen fish,” said Mr. Nadolo.
Its prospects like this that even has the Japanese government excited. “It is important to demonstrate in Japan what the Fiji business environment is like, and such efforts (investment seminar) are needed,” said Mr.Hiroyuki Saruhashi, the Principal Deputy Director Oceania Division at the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
A direct flight from Japan is sure to not only make Fiji an attractive tourist destination but also a viable investment haven.
Fiji Airways in a recent statement said that they are currently not in a position to announce a new route.
“Our teams continue to explore a number of options for new services as part of our oncoming network expansion strategy,” the statement read.
Fiji Airways is looking at a number of destinations including Japan, to explore which will suit their plans best.
Story by Rachna Nath.