Air NZ resumes flights to Nadi

Air New Zealand has resumed flights to Fiji since the country reopened its borders to international travellers on December 1.

Air NZ's first commercial flight to Fiji amid the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Nadi last week.

Chris Chand, of Fiji Airports, said the flight from Auckland carried repatriated Fijians and tourists.

With New Zealand's borders closed to Fiji, customer loads have been understandably quite low, the airline said in a statement.

"We have been operating one return Nadi flight per week through the pandemic which has been mostly cargo into Nadi," he said.

"Out of Nadi, we have been operating with customers and cargo and although passenger loads have been light we have seen good demand for cargo.

"We're looking forward to welcoming more customers on to these flights as the New Zealand border restrictions ease and we will be gradually increasing capacity from February 4.

"We will continue to monitor demand and adjust the schedule where possible."

Air New Zealand said it was pleased to see high demand for Cook Islands' travel from January 14 when the border to Rarotonga reopens.

"We are currently operating mostly cargo flights internationally to China, Australia, Los Angeles, and Japan and the Pacific Islands. Along with some repatriation flights to the Pacific Islands as needed," the airline said.

From January 17, New Zealand will start welcoming arrivals from Australia without the need to enter MIQ.

They will instead be allowed to self-isolate at home for a week with a Covid-19 test required on arrival and a final negative test needed before entering the community.

From April 30, New Zealand will start to reopen to all fully vaccinated foreign nationals

Air NZ said it will release more detail around its schedule, including when it would restart flying to key destinations like Los Angeles and Honolulu.

Meanwhile, Tourism Fiji said apart from the 75,000 international tourists who were booked into the various resorts for December and January, more were anticipated to arrive in Fiji.

"About 75,000 tourists are expected to come through for the first two months," said Tourism Fiji's chief executive Brent Hill. "That is the only data that we know so far."

"But in terms of total bookings, Fiji Airways is on record as saying they have had more than 200,000 bookings coming in.

"The good thing is I think it is about 60 percent of the numbers that we had in 2019 and when you think about it, we don't have the numbers from Australia, we don't have all the States in Australia and New Zealand, China was our fourth biggest market so it's very strong," Hill said.