Fiji Airways Reveals A350 Routes

Filed Under: Fiji Airways

Last week it was revealed that Fiji Airways would be getting two A350s later this year.

The airline is leasing these planes, and the reason they’re able to get them on such short notice is because the planes were supposed to go to Hong Kong Airlines, but that airline is struggling financially, so they decided against taking delivery of them.

Why you should care about Fiji Airways’ A350s

Fiji is a gorgeous country with some of the friendliest people in the world. Their national airline even flies to Los Angeles, Honolulu, and San Francisco, so you can visit nonstop from the US. The catch is that the airline currently uses A330s for their long haul flights, which feature rather uncomfortable angled seats in business class.

Fiji Airways’ A350s will feature reverse herringbone seats in business class, which are fully flat and feature direct aisle access. So this represents a huge improvement for the airline.

Fiji Airways’ A350 routes

The airline is expected to take delivery of their A350s in November and December 2019, and the airline has now revealed the routes that will get these planes. It’s roughly what I expected.

As noted by @airlineroute, Fiji Airways intends to operate their A350s to Los Angeles and Sydney as of January 1, 2020.

Specifically, the A350 will operate the following flight between Nadi and Los Angeles 6x weekly as of January 1, 2020:

FJ810 Nadi to Los Angeles departing 9:40PM arriving 11:25AM
FJ811 Los Angeles to Nadi departing 9:30PM arriving 6:00AM (+2 days)

Meanwhile the A350 will operate the following flight daily between Nadi and Sydney as of January 1, 2020:

FJ911 Nadi to Sydney departing 9:30AM arriving 12:10PM
FJ910 Sydney to Nadi departing 1:25PM arriving 7:20PM

That rotation will require two aircraft, so it seems that these will be the two routes to get the new planes — don’t expect any more routes to get the A350.

Booking Fiji Airways’ business class

Alaska Mileage Plan is a Fiji Airways partner, and you can redeem just 55,000 Alaska miles for a one-way business class ticket from the US to Australia/New Zealand, with a free stopover in Fiji.

The catch is that award availability isn’t very good on Fiji Airways’ flight between Los Angeles and Nadi. Looking at travel early next year, I see at most one business class seat on some flights, though many flights have no seats at all.

Still, there are some dates where you could book one person from Los Angeles to Sydney on the A350 the entire way with a stopover in Nadi. That’s a spectacular deal.

If you’re looking to book a paid business class ticket on Fiji Airways, the airline sometimes has attractive fares. Generally the fares aren’t as good out of the US, but rather there are great fares if you book as a codeshare originating in Fiji.

For example, you can book a one-way flight on Fiji Airways from Nadi to Los Angeles for ~1,130USD, which is excellent (the plane type still shows as an A330 because it often takes longer for codeshare flights to show updated aircraft types).

Alternatively, Fiji Airways often has somewhat reasonable business class fares from Australia and New Zealand to the US, and they allow a stopover in Fiji.

So while I wouldn’t call these fares “cheap,” they’re certainly much more attractively priced than anything you’ll find nonstop between the US and Australia.

Bottom line

Fiji is gorgeous, and I’m thrilled to see Fiji Airways get two A350s. You can expect to see these flying to the US from early next year, and possibly even earlier. If you’re looking to fly business class, there is some award availability on the A350 to & from LAX, though seats are tough to come by.

Fiji Airways does have some reasonable business class fares, particularly if you’re flying to the US, rather than from the US. A good strategy could be to redeem miles to fly from the US to Australia/New Zealand, and then fly Fiji Airways on the return with a good fare and a stopover.

Comments
  1. i can’t wrap my head around as to why they would make the plane sit on the ground at LAX for so many hours.

  2. I recognize that their focus is O&D traffic to/from Fiji, but I can’t understand why they’ve scheduled the the flights to effectively preclude LAX-NAN-SYD routings. Although a stop is inherently less desirable than an nonstop, it could be a potential yield management boon to fill seats when O&D traffic is light.

  3. sad they wont be using it on the Hong Kong route, to rub more salt into Hong Kong Airlines.

  4. @ mallthus — I might be missing something, but it seems like the routes are perfectly designed for connections?

  5. @ Matt — Agree it’s not terribly efficient, but their focus is on connections, since a ton of passengers are connecting to Australia and New Zealand. If the flight took off shortly after arriving at LAX it would get to Fiji at night, precluding connections. If they moved the Fiji to LAX flight to the morning (which would minimize ground time), it would also prelude connections. So this is the only schedule that would allow them to not entirely be dependent on people traveling to & from Fiji.

  6. Flew the old seats and miraculously found two seats in biz PHL-LAX-NAN through AA about 10 months in advance, then used UR points to “cash” book the one-way biz fares back to LAX for our honeymoon earlier this year. For the one-way biz NAN-LAX, I ended up with 8,277 EQMs, $1,380 EQDs, and 11,313 RDMs after elite (PP) bonuses this year.

  7. Called to book a ticket, was disappointed they didn’t answer the phone “Bula vinaka, beachside.”

  8. Just did a quick look in March and found 3 days with 2 business class seats available.

  9. I admire your talent for understatement. To say that award availability “isn’t very good” when there are zero days where a couple can fly together is like saying that there are a few poor people in Haiti.

  10. A quick search for Jan 6, 2020 LAX-NAN shows one biz class seat for 55k miles on Alaska. ExpertFlyer shows only 1 U class avail on that date.
    Other forums suggest Alaska can only “see” 3 or more U seats for FJ biz awards (while AA can see complete inventory), but I was able to book 2x U seats for later this month NAN-SFO once I saw 2 U seats open up a few weeks ago (this is where ExpertFlyer’s value really shows).

  11. Well, this is quite a good way of travelling between Sydney and Los Angeles. Business fares are attractive, and if you move beyond the first couple of months there is some award availability. Still, AU$5,000 compared to the average of AU$7,500 – ish to travel between Sydney and LAX makes the fares quite attractive.

    You can read my take on these new A350 routes from a Sydney view at the link below – which reminds me I should write up my hotel and flight reviews for Fiji!

    https://www.2paxfly.com/2019/05/07/fiji-airways-a350-routes-announced/

  12. Thanks, Ben – I was referring to the fact that they’re (AA) not currently on your oneworld connect sponsor chart although all the other sponsors have clearly signed on.

  13. I traveled Fiji SFO-Auckland return in March, business class, with stopovers in Nadi. The planes had 2-2-2 seating, not angled, very generous spacing so that, at the window, one could access the aisle without disturbing the person laying (almost) flat in the aisle seat. Great feature was that the seat didn’t narrow at the feet, like United or AirNZ. And the price was great, as was the food and beverage service.

  14. @Ben not sure if you noticed. every Tuesday on March/2020, FI 811 is revert back to A330. Weird.

  15. I’ve flown Fiji Airways business class annually the past two years in March between San Francisco and Nadi, Fiji. Both round trips were in 2-2-2 configuration NOT angled. If seated at the window and the adjacent aisle seat is flat, the spacing between rows is SO generous that one can get to the aisle without disturbing the person on the aisle. AND the seat when flat is just as wide at the feet as it is at the shoulders. The cabin service was fantastic and the Lounge at Nadi was awesome. Lucky, I don’t agree that their business class product is sub-par. And for the money, it’s an incredible deal. Try it yourself from SFO and please report back.
    Looking forward to their business class product in A350s.

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