Fiji Airways

Samoa authorities continue investigations into stowaway incident

Last month the Ministry of Police and Prisons kicked off its investigation into how a Samoan woman managed to pass through immigration and airport security got on the Fiji airways aircraft, hid in the lavatory, and made her way to Fiji.

This happened on 26 December 2022.  

The woman was caught sleeping in the lavatory by flight attendants when the plane arrived in Fiji. 

Samoa and Fiji authorities continue investigations into stowaway

The Samoa Observer reports a 24-year-old woman from Nofoalii was found hiding in a toilet at the Nadi International Airport transit area. She was deported to Samoa on Monday.

Workers at the Faleolo International Airport are still puzzled as to how the woman managed to pass through the security checks, including the boarding pass check, and take the flight to Fiji.

She had no suitcase or personal belongings except for her phone and passport.

Samoa police investigate stow-away case

Deputy Police Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti told Tala Fou that Police are trying to determine how the woman allegedly got past the normal departure processes including immigration, customs and security clearance.

The woman is suspected to have hidden in the plane’s toilet during the flight.

According to Papalii, the suspect managed to hide on the plane and was only discovered when the Fiji Airways aircraft touched down in Fiji.

The suspect was then apprehended and returned to Samoa on the same flight.

Airlines selling seats to Samoa

Samoa's Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, announced last week that returning Samoan citizens and valid permit holders would be allowed to travel to Samoa.

All travellers must be fully vaccinated and present a negative PCR Test or Rapid Antigen Test.


Fiji welcomes return of 737 Max planes to the skies

The Civil Aviation Authority says it has adopted service requirements of the US regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Boeing 737 Max aircraft operated by Fiji Airways.

The Fiji authority said the FAA had signed an order in November that allowed the 737 Max to return to the skies.

Earlier the Max was pulled from service after two planes crashed in Indonesia in 2019 and Ethiopia in 2018, killing all 346 people on board.

Fiji Airways to appeal tribunal order over workers' claims

The flight attendants, laid off by the company last year, challenged the airline's attempt to dismiss their grievance claims.

The tribunal accepted the argument of the 245 flight attendants that their appeal provisions in the collective agreement with the airline only applied to disciplinary dismissals.

The court dismissed an application by Fiji Airways to strike out the cabin crews' grievance claims on the basis that they failed to file an appeal under the Collective Agreement.

Fiji Airways extends use of flight credits

Since March 2019, Fiji Airways has suspended its international operations impacted by the border closures across its destinations.

In a statement, CEO Andre Viljoen said the airline's objective is to ensure customers did not lose their bookings.

"The extension for use of flight credits by another 12 months will allow customers to choose another travel time that suits their circumstances and requirements.

"We will continuously review this policy and make further adjustments if required," Viljoen said.

Fiji Airways to operate special flight

The airline said the aircraft would spend more than two hours in Fiji's skies before returning.

The airline said it would also use the flight to prepare staff and guests on changes to expect when border restrictions eased and commercial flying resumed.

In a statement, the airline said flying had changed since the beginning of this year.

It said the Fiji Airways' Travel Ready programme was "designed for air travel in a Covid-19 world with numerous precautions and medical safeguards in place to protect customers and staff alike".

Fiji Airways stuck with leased aircraft

Last November, the airline took delivery of its first Airbus A350XWB which cost more than $US100 million.

In January, flights began to Sydney and Los Angeles but by the end of March, the airline was forced to suspend air travel due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

This week, the airline's chief executive, Andre Viljoen, said the situation was like "sitting with a noose" with no way to wriggle out.

Mr Viljoen said defaulting on loan or lease repayments for one aircraft could make Fiji Airways "lose everything and go belly up".

Fiji officials call for kindness towards repatriated

The acting permanent secretary for health, James Fong, and the head of health protection, Aalisha Sahu Khan, said Fiji must be ready to welcome back people who have been stuck overseas for months.

"We urge you, please have some compassion for our returning citizens. Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine if it was your parents," Dr Sahu khan said.

The FBC reported Dr Fong saying Fijians could not lose sight of their humanity.

As long as the country welcomed back its own citizens from nations with large scale outbreaks, there would be cases at the border, he said.