Qantas Airways Limited says they will not decrease their services between Sydney and Nadi due to the growing demand from customers wanting a premium travel option to Fiji.
Qantas which is the second-largest shareholder for Fiji Airways having 46 percent shares in the company says they are providing codes on the majority of Fiji Airways services between Australia and Fiji and they have no plans to change the current codeshare agreements with Fiji Airways.
However, a Qantas spokesman says the latest Australian Government statistics show that in June this year, Fiji Airways carried more than half of all the people traveling between Australia and Fiji.
The spokesman says according to the statistics, Qantas Group (Jetstar and Qantas) carried a very small amount of passengers compared to Fiji Airways where Fiji Airways carried 43,393 passengers, Jetstar carried 4943 passengers, Qantas carried 4686 passengers and Virgin Australia carried 23,779 passengers.
The spokesman says with Qantas and Jetstar combined, they carried 12.5% of all passengers with Fiji Airways carrying around 56% followed by Virgin Australia at 31%.
When questioned by Fijivillage, Qantas confirms it will operate daily services over the Christmas and New Year period providing more seats which will help boost the visitor numbers that will ultimately support the Fijian economy.
Fiji Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andre Viljoen says Qantas Airways has announced in January this year that it would commence its own services to Fiji in competition with Fiji Airways.
Viljoen says Qantas’ sudden flip from ally to adversary has been very damaging for Fiji Airways as it is competing aggressively, actively directing passengers onto Qantas and Jetstar services.
He says the aggressive competition by Qantas Airways is severely damaging Fiji’s national carrier and their ability to compete.
Qantas Airways Limited has been a shareholder in Fiji Airways since 1958 and actively participated in the board until 2012.